a huge humpback whale completely jumped out of the water just in front of my boat. Jumped so close that it didn't get in the lens of my telephoto. It all happened in 2 seconds. I heard a gasp and scream of standing nearby passengers, managed to turn away from the lens and see how the huge carcass flatwise fell into the water blasting the ocean around it. All I had left to do was to just photograph the circles on the water.
After that, I was sitting and thinking: "Why did it jump out? Why did it jump out so close? Why no warning? Why didn't it jump for the second time when I was ready? I wish it didn't jump at all!" Ah! The mood for the rest of the day was marred...
is the capital of Alaska. 30,000 people live here. Half of them work in the Administration of State, and the other half caters to tourists. The center of the city, like in Skagway and in Ketchikan, is absolutely touristic:
watch the bears, but the cloudiness was very low, and the tour was canceled because the little seaplane could not fly in the clouds over the mountains:
I promptly switched to another tour 'Watching The Wildlife Of Alaska'. First, we went to the forest and took a small walk under the rain to the glacier, taking pictures of mushrooms and leaves on our way:
The work of beavers:
We crossed the shallow river. For the first time I saw salmon in its natural habitat, not on the plate:
Even in the deep woods where there are bears, Americans laid the tracks and put up the signs:
Before entering the forest, we had a briefing: 'What to do if you see a bear'. The general idea is this:
Don't run away from the bear. It is faster anyway.
Stand still, don't move. It may not notice because it only sees the moving objects well.
If the bear is 'interested' in you, stand to yours full height, raise your hands (preferably open coat, like a cobra) and loudly yell, stomp and knock. Try to look larger than you are.
Do not carry any open food. Bears have an excellent sense of smell.
Do not get in between a bear and its cub.
Try to stay in groups.
I want to make a small digression about the safety regulations in the United States. For the past two weeks, I had been on many excursions. Every time we got on the bus or on the boat, we were instructed where the fire extinguishers are, where the life jackets or life buoys are, what we should do if people fall out of the boat, and what channel to contact the coast guard on if the captain is the one out of the board. We were instructed even on a tour bus. Nobody is hoping for the best there, and it is probably right.
Back to our walk. It ended on a hill where we could see the glacier:
Unfortunately, we didn't have time to come closer:
After the glacier, we were loaded onto a small boat and taken to watch the whales:
There was a heavy rain.
Well, and here are the promised circles from the jumping whale. By the way, the whale has a very strong tail. It needed to wave it only 3 times to completely jump out of the water:
We saw sea lions on the way back. They were resting on the buoy fleeing from the killer whales: