I am feeling very lucky today as I got to see a humpback repeatedly breach and, get photos of it! The whale was very close to shore and right in front of our house. The whale also slapped its pectoral fins several times as well.
We took a trip to Juneau via the Alaska Marine Highway. It takes approximately 24 hours to get to Juneau from Ketchikan. Along the way we saw a pod of orcas and multiple humpbacks. We also saw a pod of Dall's porpoise.
It was a frustrating day whale watching from shore. Both humpbacks and orcas were observed, but most were very far away.
The orcas were first observed near Annette Island. I saw approximately three spouts, and then they vanished. Roughly two hours later small spouts were observed in Annette Bay. I managed to get a photo of one of the whales before they disappeared. I believe they were a small pod of transient orcas.
A humpback (or multiple humpbacks) were observed throughout the day as well. One breached and swam very close to Rotary Beach. One was observed in the evening from our deck. However, my timing was off today, as I was never able to get a good photograph of the whale(s).
Spent the afternoon on a beach at the end of George Inlet, and was surprised when a humpback showed up. It swam around for 30 minutes or so before leaving the area. Although the pictures I took are not very clear, two of them have left me wondering if there was a mother and a calf.
The whale was first spotted in Nichols Passage. It moved south toward Annette Island where it breached and slapped its tail several times. It then crossed the channel and began swimming north along the shores of Ketchikan, where it breached once again. It then crossed the channel again, and was last seen swimming south toward mountain point near Annette Island.
Also observed a small pod of harbor porpoise.