There’s nothing quite like seeing whales nearby when you’re out on the water. We’ve been fortunate enough to see them in person from that vantage point a handful of times during our various travels in Alaska, and I can’t imagine it ever getting old. We’ve only had the opportunity to get out on a boat twice since our move up here in July, but we managed to see whales both trips. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting to see them again until we’re on a boat again next summer, let alone from shore.
We’ve had an unusual fall here in Homer this year in terms of whales, though. As I mentioned a few weeks ago in a Sunday recap, Papa B spotted what we thought were whale sprays in Kachemak Bay while we were enjoying an afternoon at Bishop’s Beach. Turns out we were correct. After that day, Papa B decided to invest in a more powerful pair of binoculars. Even though they’re nothing fancy (a whopping $35 on Amazon 😉 ), they work much better than the smaller pair we have, and they’ve been getting regular use in our whale watching adventures. Although the whales have typically departed Alaskan waters for Hawaii or Mexico by this time of year, there’s still a bunch of them here this year. Local marine biologists are speculating it’s due to higher volumes of prey in our waters this year. Here’s the recent article in our local paper if you’re interested in reading more about it.
The best part is, they’re visible from shore. We’re able to see their sprays most easily, and the occasional back or tail fluke. We’ve even been able to see the sprays from our living room now and then. (Definitely an improvement from our view in Minnesota!) At times, we’ve seen as many as 10-12 sprays in the air at once. So neat!
While we’d love to have access to a boat so we could get a closer look, we’re still thrilled to be enjoying the more distant binocular perspective. It adds a bit of mystery to our spotting. While we’ve mainly been seeing humpbacks, a few days ago we thought perhaps we were watching orcas. The backs definitely looked black vs dark gray, and they were much more active than the humpbacks typically are. Alas, we’ll never know for sure.
Needless to say, we’re making near daily trips to the beach to enjoy them while they’re still here. Although Little B is too young to appreciate the whales this year, she doesn’t mind our frequent beach trips one bit. In fact, I’d say she’s living the dream.
Then again, so are we!