Sunday, July 10, 2011

Glacier Bay, Alaska: Part 3

Here is another round of photos from Glacier Bay. This round is mostly from 2 events on 2 days. The first is when I saw orcas (Killer whales, Orcinus orca) passing through the bay. We saw them in the central bay and then again when we were going back to the dock in front of Young Island. It was the only orca sighting of the trip, but I was told day after day (In Glacier Bay, Juneau and Ketchikan) that they were around.
Mom and calf orcas in front of Sita reef

Female orca in front of Young Island

Two females in front of Young island

Female in front of Young island, on the far left the male is about to surface, he had a crooked dorsal fin.

 The next series of photos is of a juvenile female sea otter who was eating mussels and urchins near Geikie rock in the upper central bay. Jessica and I collectively got data on her, but Jess was nice enough to take over so I could get some photos. She was only about 20-30 feet from us collecting her prey from the very reef we were standing on. This is also the same otter from the previous post (I had only edited one photo of her batch at the time).
Eating some really small green urchins.
Finishing up her small prey.

Checking out the surroundings before diving for more urchins.
There are so many captions I could put here....

Eating a very tiny green urchin.
 And for the last photo.... The wildflowers were amazing this trip. The following photo is on Link island in the Beardslees (no boat access so the only way in is to kayak) in the lower bay area. There is mostly Lupine and Indian paintbrush (red, orange and yellow) and seeing an entire field was breathtaking- I don't think the photo does the scenery justice!

Since I have been talking about Glacier bay and the different spots I was at, I thought I would add a map (from Lonely Planet's website) of the area. Bartlett Cove is "the dock" where our boat, the Lutris 2, called home. Gustavus is the town (9 miles from the dock) one would fly into, get pizza and also was where I stayed for part of my trip. I break Glacier Bay into 4 general regions: The west arm (the west arm stretches right up to Canada),  the east arm, central bay (everything in the middle of the bay) and the lower bay where Bartlett Cove is. Hope this helps a bit!