Another beautiful day with sunshine and glassy seas. All the potential Ahabs in the fleet were searching the horizon for whales and we found some! In fact, we found no fewer than 5 ½ marine mammal species for a spectacular wildlife day.
The ½ marine mammal were a young bull and cow moose we found along the shore of Wrangell Narrows just as we left Petersburg. They looked like they wanted to swim the Narrows, but didn’t know quite what to make of the boat traffic. I only counted them as a half a marine mammal because they were not actually swimming. We have seen them swimming in the past though, sometimes miles from shore, so we feel fully justified in counting them at ½.
Our second marine mammal of the day was a group of Steller’s sealions piled up on the last buoy in Wrangell Narrows. They were playing musical chairs as there wasn’t quite enough room for everybody. When one sealion jumped up, he would push another off the buoy. The evicted tenant would try his luck ejecting a third animal and so on around the buoy.
Number three was a small raft of sea otters having a snooze out in Frederick Sound. They were enjoying the warm day as much as we. If they had a pina colada in their paws, they would have looked all the world like they were floating on an air mattress in the pool at a Caribbean resort. A fourth otter bobbed into view and this one seemed a bit more active, wriggling this way and that. Closer examination proved that this otter was, in fact, two, a mom and a pup. Like kids everywhere, junior was antsy and wanted to explore. Mom wanted to take a nap like her friends. Anyone who has had kids can empathize.
A pair of speedy Dall’s porpoises rocketed over to Deception’s bow to play and then paid visits to the other boats, as if they were sampling the rides at the County Fair. We’re not sure which boat they preferred, but Cass on Grand Adventure got some great videos!
The finale of the day was the appearance of a couple of humpback whales. These, too, seemed to be resting, perhaps taking inspiration from the otters. They were lazily swimming along on the surface as if to get a little sun on their backs.
And perhaps there were actually 6 ½ marine mammals, because Jordan from Inception and Noel from Eldean both took to the kayaks when we reached Cannery Cove. A perfect day for all us marine mammals!