Day 4

I hate to admit it, but Juneau (the city itself) didn’t really thrill me.  As the state capitol it was a bit too busy for my liking.  We also had to be on board the ship by 12:45, so I didn’t actually get to explore the town itself.  Most of my viewing was done on a bus.  The mountains and glaciers behind it were spectacular though – looking above the buildings at them left me speechless.  Absolutely gorgeous. 

Like Ketchikan, Juneau can only be accessed by water or air, so the docks were packed with residents’ boats.  They have a bunch of streets and a highway that abruptly come to a dead end outside of town – they literally have roads to nowhere!  The highlight was definitely my shore excursion though – whale watching in a catamaran.  We boarded the catamaran very early in the morning and it was freezing and foggy.  But the cold was totally worth it.  We spotted two humpback whales (mom and baby), and the baby decided to roll, flippers waving, and breach, which is when they jump up in the air and splash back down into the water.  Apparently this is unusual behaviour in Alaska.  Here, the whales eat a lot before they go south for the winter.  As they eat, they typically come up, blow plumes of water spray, and without really coming above water, they go back under with just their tails (flukes) flapping.  We got quite the rare show!  We also stopped at a tiny island and watched a huge group of sea lions play on the beach.  They make a lot of noise!  I loved the whole experience, and I would definitely do it again.  I may not have seen much of the city, but the wildlife tour more than made up for it. 

So now we’re heading onwards to Skagway, our last port.  In an hour or so we will be passing through some glaciers, which I can’t wait to see…

Update: Glaciers are beautiful, and very very blue…

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