Searching for whales and childhood dreams in Alaska

Searching for whales and childhood dreams in Alaska

Growing up I was the kid who could name all the different kinds of whales and knew which ones were toothed whales and which ones had baleen and what baleen actually was! So when a colleague asked me how far I'd go for adventure I knew the answer was a trip to Alaska

My trip to Alaska was a childhood dream fulfilled. Captain Alex von Wichman knew there were humpback whales in the area as we had seen some spouts in the distance. We got into the inflatable Zodiac and motored closer, cutting the engine when we felt we were close enough to get a better view but not close enough to disturb the massive creatures. We waited in the stillness as there was nobody in sight, just the hushed green forest of the Chugach and the slight swell slapping against the rubber sides of the boat.

Suddenly not 15 feet from us we saw a shape rising from the deep. A humpback surfaced, spewed a massive amount of sea water and whale snot into the air, opening its huge nostrils as it took a breath and then slowly submerged. I don't think that I had truly realized until that moment how big humpbacks are. The animal's back was as big as the Zodiac and we could barely see the pectoral fins, a dusky greenish-blue against the water. The animal turned, looked at us with its enormous eye, and sunk back into the dark water.

The thrill of being close to nature, that space where you're looking at an animal and it's looking at you, that's where I go for adventure. Seeing whales in Alaska was such an adventure that I'm actually going back again and this time I'm taking my daughter with me!

For 2018 I'm thrilled that we'll again be offering a yacht charter to Prince William Sound on the M/V Babkin in Alaska. It has only 3 cabins so it charters for small groups. That means that the itinerary is somewhat up to you – if you want more glaciers or more whales or a day to fish for salmon or a full day kayaking the crew can do all of that with ease. the ship is owned by a family who grew up in these waters and they know the area like the backs of their hands, having run charters for scientists, such as the US forest Service. They have great insight into the ecosystem – where it's been, where it's going, and what to see.

Because they're locals, they also know people. They might pull up to commercial fishermen so you can learn about fishing and maybe buy some salmon for sushi, and once they even had a plane fly over the boat and drop off a newspaper for the Captain. The pilot had seen the Babkin, called them on the radio, and dropped a plastic-wrapped newspaper out the window.

I'm excited to return to the amazing scenery and wildlife of Alaska and look forward to sharing more with you soon!

Wildest regards,

Rachael

P.S. If you interested in our trips to Alaska let me know!

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