A chilly first time whale watch experience in Alaska
Erika Mabry's story
Journey to Auke Bay
It was a cold, windy day in Alaska and the day I had been waiting for was finally here. I was about to experience the one adventure I requested on my latest trip with my grandparents, whale watching on beautiful Alaskan waters. After spending the day at Mendenhall Glacier, my grandpa and I hopped on our bus and set out on our hour-long trek to Auke Bay. We parked at a local dock and met our captain for the afternoon.
Boarding the boat
After climbing aboard the boat, the captain took us out to begin our search. My grandpa and I boarded the specifically designed boat with large windows, heated cabins, and an outdoor deck. I began this adventure on the top deck. Quickly I realized that I did not dress for the occasion. The wind chill was absolutely terrible. My face was red and my hands frigid. I thought to myself, this is going to be a very long two hours. As the journey began, I found myself taking much needed breaks downstairs in the heated area, joining my grandfather for warmth and hot chocolate.
“And there is the tail”
Humpback whales and sea lions were visible almost immediately. As a whale was spotted, our captain slowed down our boat. Patiently waiting, a beautiful tail of a humpback whale emerged from the freezing water. “And there is the tail” was a common saying throughout the boat ride. Though, it never got old. I saw over 20 whales and tails during this journey, and not once did I miss an opportunity on the top deck to see it firsthand. As we docked after a cold afternoon on the open Alaskan waters, I turned back to look hoping it would not be the last time I would see this view.