Low, dense fog gave way to sunbeams as early risers on National Geographic Venture witnessed a phenomenon known as bubble-net feeding from a group of twenty-one humpbacks simultaneously working together. An extra early morning wakeup call went out to those more inclined for extra sleep, but as excitement traveled throughout the ship, more guests woke and trickled out onto the bow for one of the multiple extraordinary sights of the day. Some guests even had the luck to observe multiple breaches by one humpback whale! The ship continued onward to Pavlof Harbor, where even more whales were observed as breakfast was enjoyed.
Soon after, Zodiacs zipped guests off to view some coastal brown bears. Once onshore, we came upon the falls after a short walk. Guests had a seat and to the delight of all, a pair of sibling juveniles came to fish for salmon. Soon after, a mama with two yearling cubs also came out to enjoy the easy, rich picking of salmon at low tide. Everyone observed with awe and admiration. It was an amazing experience to be so close to nature that we could view the intricate cycle of life and nutrients from salmon to bear.
As if the spectacular shows of bubble-netting whales and coastal brown bears were not enough, while cruising in Tenakee Springs, a family of resident orcas made an appearance. Females, multiple large dorsal fin males, and young juveniles were in no rush, and they leisurely allowed us to observe them moiling along for an hour. A few breaches, spy hops, and tail slaps were displayed, as if to let us know that they, too, can put on a show, just like the humpbacks. It was an amazing day in Southeast Alaska.