Alaska

More 6/5: Triple Play in Icy Strait

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Back out on the bow of the boat, we were watching the Kittiwakes – they were just sitting there, then all of a sudden there would be a big ruckus and they would fly around.  Jeremy, one of our expedition guides, explained there was a Parasitic Jaeger bothering them.  The Jaeger’s M.O. is to wait until the kittiwake has done the hard work of catching a fish, then it goes after it – trying to get it to drop the fish.

I focused on different kittiwakes, hoping to get them in the act of catching a fish:

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No luck, but I did finally see the Jaeger and started tracking him:

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Son of a gun – Jeremy was right!  Didn’t even see the fish in the Kittiwake’s beak until I was looking at the photos.  Here’s another lucky shot:

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About this time, we spotted the National Geographic Sea Lion.  We were curious about how long it would hang around, wanting to compare it to our Un-Cruise style.  But, we got distracted and forgot to notice when it left the area.

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WARNING:  The rest of this post and the next one are about whales.  There are lots of photos.  If you are tired of Whales, you can skip ahead to the post after the next one.

 

After fun with Jaeger, it was time to get back to serious business – watching the whales.  Where to look?  There were blows in several directions.  This one caught my eye:

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That’s 4 whales, maybe 5, in a row, and possibly some back by the shore line.  This is almost too much.  We watch the conga line for a while to see what happens:

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That was fun – just one whale tail after another.

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This looks interesting:

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Wow – a Triple!  Synchronized fluking for the win.  Unbelievable.

A different type of triple:

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Shall we go for a quadruple play?

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Not lucky enough to see that, but it was still awesome:

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And then, the whales are practically on top of us:

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They’re circling – maybe we’ll see bubble net feeding:

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Lou stepped in to help out and take a few wide angle shots, showing the circling throng:

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No luck with the bubble net, but who cares?  This guy showed us his pretty side:

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They just wouldn’t stop  …

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Everyone is mesmerized:

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Let’s take a break, and when we come back, we’ll finish up the night in Icy Strait.

 

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