Pack Creek (Photo Workshop Day 2), Part 1

After experiencing the wonderful whale experiences of Day 1, what would Day 2 bring us? Well, at the end of the first day, we found a sheltered cove to anchor for the evening. Wasn’t too sure about our overnight … the Captain told us we were anchoring in “Last Chance Bay” … that will make you think twice! But everything was peaceful and we enjoyed a wonderful meal by our onboard chef, then I got ready to present a photo lesson about using ISO to our advantage in the potentially harsh conditions of our trip. Conditions like thick, overcast skies. And shooting in rain (Alaska’s Southeast, being a temperate rainforest, experiences lots of rain showers). And let’s not forget the “shooting from the moving boat” factor. All combined, shooting at higher ISO settings are often the salvation to assure getting some sharp photos! But everyone was too tired from the day’s encounters and just wanted to get to bed so they’d be ready for whatever would greet us in the morning. So the lesson was postponed and I, too, headed straight to bed for some much deserved sleep!

After breakfast on Day 2, we saw a mink running the shoreline at Last Chance Bay, as well as a couple of busy kingfishers. The Delphinus then continued heading northward toward our next destination … Pack Creek (located on Admiralty Island) and brown bears! But we had a few hours travel time and we continued to be escorted by an estimated 60-75 humpback whales (certainly not a disappointment to us!). Here are a few additional Humpback Whale images I made on our way to Admiralty Island. In the first couple of images, the humpbacks were “fluking”, showing their flukes (tails) as they began deep dives:


Humpback Whale fluking


Humpback Whale fluking



And spouting …  much spouting as the huge numbers of Humpbacks actively moved about, feeding on krill deep in the water:


Humpback Whale spouting


Humpback Whale spouting



And as we got closer to arriving at Pack Creek, we cruised near some local, Alaskan seabirds … Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata), a very interesting and colorful bird:


Surf Scoters taking off



Reaching Pack Creek, we saw what we had come this distance to see … brown bears working the shoreline for salmon:


Brown Bears at Pack Creek, Alaska



After anchoring the Delphinus, we grabbed our gear and took the skiff to shore. In the next post, I’ll share some photos I made as we hiked the trails at Pack Creek.

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