We were surprised to learn that you can only reach it by boat or plane unless you are up to hiking or mushing in. There are no roads connecting it to the rest of mainland North America, which makes it a rather singular state capital. Hawaii doesn't count as it is really an island.
Juneau's downtown offered plenty of shopping opportunities for tourists like most of Alaska's towns and a tram trip up a mountain that overlooks the harbor.
The boat used for whale watching was a bit smaller than our cruise ship.
Our captain seemed to have a quick hand on the controls and soon
we were speeding out toward the viewing areas
There were several other boats gathered in the area when we arrived.
Our topside guide first gave us some facts about bubble net feeding, which several pods were engaged in when we arrived.
|Whales swim in circles creating bubbles and foam that attracts fish|
|The gulls can see this and gather to feed as well|
|The whales then lunge to the surface with their mouths open to scoop up the fish.|
|The pinkish color is the insde of their upper palate|
|This moster just missed getting a gull|
|Sometimes they will also slap their fins on the water to help the process|
|When they dive or sound they flip their tails up at the last second before disappearing|
|Sea Lions were also on view relaxing on a harbor buoy|
|Here a huge Humpback breaks the surface before diving|
|When the tail flips you sometimes will get a fanciful waterfall effect|
|Whales can be specifically identifed and tracked over the years from the singlular patterns on their flukes.|
|Near Orca Point Lodge we also saw a bald eagle roosting in a tree|
We prepared to leave Juneau that evening just as the sun was setting over the harbor. Shortly we were steaming down Lynn Canal as a foggy haze enveloped the various islands and headlands.
Then in a fitting end to the day a solitary humpback surfaced, flipped his fluke upward, and dove beneath the sunset tinted waters. Every time you think it couldn't get better, Alaska proves that it can.