It was neat to be able to check this one off the bucket list, both photo and personal. We were on the boat ride out of Seward, Alaska on the Steller Explorer and had seen a few puffins, gulls, sea lions, and lunge feeding humpback whales. (I will cover the other sealife in another post).
Over the radio we hear that some orcas were sighted at no name rock, off we speed. I am sitting on the back of the boat enjoying the scenery and taking a few pictures. The boat slows down and I have camera in hand I see a fin then the top of the back of a good size orca, no pictures. My breath was taken away and happy tears welled up in my eyes. I have seen some breath taking sites, I also have seen them on TV, I wasn’t prepared for this. The cool thing is they were hunting and on a mission but stayed long enough for me to see and take pictures.
I think the mother was trying to teach the baby how to dive and hunt. I can see how the fin could be mistaken for a shark from a distance. I was able to stop crying and take some pictures of fins and the baby. Sitting on the bow of the boat the orcas were getting close, so close, Chris from our group was getting up to get his shorter lens when the baby broke water right next to the boat. He did not get the photo but the look on his face was PRICELESS.
The boat was bobbing up and down in some swells and I was taking pictures when all of a sudden my stomach started to do some bobbing of its own. I had such a concerned group of friends around me trying to push me to the rail so I could feel better. The truth is they were more concerned with protecting the cameras. I am sure there was concern for both.
The boat and the crew were very helpful and informative about the area history and showing us the local sea life. Well worth a trip on the water when in Seward Alaska. http://www.alaskasaltwaterlodge.com/boat_photos.htm the smaller boat means less struggle to see and better photo positions.
Having enjoyed this trìp and crossing the orcas off the bucket list boats and me are parting ways.