We left Sitka, Alaska at 12:48pm on Thursday, July 14.
I knew this trip would be an adventure of a lifetime. Many years have been spent longing to travel to the beautiful state of Alaska, but I knew if I went, the experience would need to be unique. When the opportunity to see Southeast Alaska on a private boat was presented to me, I had to say yes.
On the other hand, I would be lying if I didn't say I was a bit nervous about spending a week on a boat, since I have experienced some sea sickness in the past, but I was determined not to let my nerves get the best of me (it also helped that I packed a variety of medication to help combat the motion sickness, should it ever decide to creep up).
What occurred over the next 7 days was nothing short of amazing. We spent hours observing some of the most incredible shorelines, mountains, glaciers calving, critters, sunrises, calm waters and laughing with friends.
Joe was our fearless captain who made sure the Marguerite and crew stayed safe during the week long trip. He navigated our boat to some incredible locations, thanks to weeks of research prior to our departure, and stayed calm during a few stressful times (you'll read more about this later).
Tenakee Springs, Alaska
We arrived in Tenakee Springs just before 8:00pm and the sun was still high in the sky. As we entered the harbor, we heard a few gun shots and spotted a few people wandering below the tide line.
Once we docked, we had one mission, to find the bar Joe had visited years prior. As we walked the streets, Joe explained to us that the town was free of cars. At that moment, we heard the sound of an engine behind us and stepped aside to watch an ATV pass us with one woman driving and one in the trailer it was pulling, both with shot guns over their shoulders.
Dozens of homes line the shoreline, many with vegetable gardens surrounded by chicken wire to protect the crops from wildlife. The town also has a post office, bakery, a general store and a bathhouse, but no bar. When we asked a local, she informed us the hotel and bar burnt down a number of years ago.
When we left Tenakee Springs and headed for Glacier Bay, we re-entered the Icy Strait, so we continued to look for whales. As we rounded Point Augusta, we finally spotted half a dozen whales.
We had been watching the whales for about 5 minutes when we observed the whales swim away from one another, then dive and flip their flukes to the sky. About 3 minutes later, we witnessed an amazing and rare behavior known as bubble feeding.
Bubble feeding occurs when a pod of whales swims below a school of fish, blowing bubbles, forcing the fish up to the surface. The whales then swim up through the bubbles with their mouths open, catching hundreds of fish. We were very lucky to have seen this performed four times.