with the population of only 31 thousand people is not well-known. Honestly, before this trip, I didn't know it either. And now not only I learned it, but I have also visited this cozy town hidden between narrow Gastineau Channel (which is so shallow it turns, in fact, into a gulf) and slopes of Boundary ridge only 25 miles away from the Canadian border. Juneau doesn't have roads connecting it with Canada or with other parts of Alaska. You can get there either by air or water which is what we did. We docked in its smooth waters early in the morning on July, 2. First, we explore the terrain! Disney Wonder" of the Disney Cruises and Carnival Spirit of the Carnival Cruises are anchored nearby.
As a rule, I always try to take the most saturated and interesting tours while on a cruise. In Juneau, I liked a combination tour of whale watching, a trip to a local taiga and a flight on a light airplane.
The tourists who chose this excursion were divided into two groups. One group was accompanied by a local lanky guy, and another group's (the one I was in) guide was a charming girl Breckan, Irish by birth but living in Alaska. She is cheerful, lively, and as they say a real "tomboy". :)
Having left the cruise terminal, we went to the harbor where numerous fishing boats and tourist ships are moored.
Our tour takes place under an incessant attention of the ideological American companions masked as the national coat of arms for conspiracy.
We have a sea trip in search of whales, so why not study them first on a slightly reduced miniature model?
Well, you just have to trust to Breckan! A couple of minutes later we promptly moved away from the harbor dissecting open spaces of the Favorite Channel.
Our route continues in the rainforest zone extending to the whole southeast part of Alaska called "the frying pan handle". Thus, the weather is still a little foggy. However, it is absolutely normal for this places, and, in my opinion, even gives nature a special zest.
We rush between small archipelagoes scattered everywhere among the narrowness of Inside passage of Alaska.
There are a lot of whales in this area, and you will certainly meet them during a similar ride. Here is the first one! A huge back showed on a smooth water surface, and after a second we saw a characteristic fountain, the whale sighed, and disappeared in the sea depths.
Photo hunting for whales is one of the popular tourist entertainments in this country! The glacier Mendenhall is seen in the background behind the boat, another sight of Juneau vicinities.
To see one whale during a trip is not serious for these places. It is necessary to look for luck somewhere else.
Luck comes to those who are determined, or, perhaps, Breckan bewitched all the local animals? Anyway, it wasn't even five minutes until we saw another huge whale.
This was a good luck! We will have photos to show to our ideological companions stuck in their staterooms!
Having executed the main secret mission of our mini-cruise, we can now relax and quietly admire wonderful sea colors of the landscapes of the passages Lynn Canal, Chatam Strait and Icy Strait, through which we will rush to the settlement of Hoonah within the next hour. And if you get bored admiring the sea, Breckan will gladly give you a sandwich.
However, I haven't even managed to finish my third sandwich as the boat sharply slammed on the brakes. Of course, there were various observers. Do you remember a white-headed American eagle in the port? Here are other ideological companions. Settling down on a beacon, they assure us with their naive eyes that they have gathered on this anchor buoy without any deep undercover reason.
Having left a crew of sea lions relaxing on a beacon, the boat continued the movement, and 15 minutes later docked at Hoonah's mooring, a tiny fishing village.
Now a sea part of our tour is complete.
The orthodox church stands ashore. There are still a lot of them, despite the fact that it's been 150 years since the sale of Alaska. A vast majority of them are certainly remakes.
We get into two mini-buses waiting for us and go deep into the woods, Juneau and its suburbs are in a taiga zone …
If there is a taiga, there have to be its original owners. And this is true. There are a lot of bears in Alaska, you can see them everywhere. For example, right here. This place looks like there are a lot of bears: dense forest, windbreak.
The owner showed up 50 meters away from us: "Ah, those tourists again! I'm fed up with your cameras! You'd better bring me honey!" :)
Meanwhile, the bear imposingly walked on a windbreak, looking lazily at tourists, and went further on his bearish affairs.
We continued our travel too. Half an hour later we stopped on the bank of the picturesque sea gulf surrounded with taiga which is possible to confuse with a lake if you don't taste the water.
Now is the low tide - there are sea shells on the stones.
What a grace!