Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Alaska: Day 1 - SkyWatch Friday

On the first day of our Alaskan adventure, we left for the airport in Indianapolis at 9:30 on Saturday May 16. Our flight was delayed but we still had enough time to grab lunch on our layover in Dallas and make our flight to Seattle. We headed to bed early so that we could get to Pike's Place Fish Market right when it opened at 7 the next morning.

Mt. Rainier from the Ship

We arrived just before they opened and were able to watch all the fresh fish and beautiful flowers being brought in to the market that day. After breakfast, we headed back to our hotel, grabbed our bags, and headed for the cruise terminal. We arrived just before boarding was about to begin and quickly made it through the check-in process. After boarding, there was a huge buffet available, so we sat on deck having lunch and checking out the amazing scenery that surrounds Seattle. My first life bird from the cruise was a Pigeon Guillemot swimming close to the ship.

Holland America: Westerdam

View from my stateroom

As we left port and sailed through the Puget Sound, we sat on our verandas and watched the beautiful scenery as we passed it by. That night the sunset was awesome.

The next day was a full day at sea as we sailed to Glacier Bay National Park. The best part of a day at sea is all of the seabirds that you can find. I saw many new species while cruising but my favorites were Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses and Leach's Storm-Petrel. These are all amazing species that are highly specialized open-ocean birds. I also saw my first Sooty and Short-tailed Shearwaters. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to see let alone photograph birds from a moving ship so I do not have any pictures of the species that I saw on the day at sea.

Another highlight of the day was seeing Humpback Whales for the first time ever. They are unbelievably huge even from a cruise ship. I spent a long time watching many different individual whales surface and flip their tails out of the water. Below are a few of my favorite whale pictures from my day at sea!

Be sure to watch for my stories from Glacier Bay National Park tomorrow!
Check out more great SkyWatch Friday posts here!


Sanna said...

What an amazing journey, I hope you're having a great time. =)

Anonymous said...

All are wonderful shots! I love the whale ones best though - I'd love to go whale watching sometime.

Guy D said...

All are excellent shots, I am partial to the sunset show in the middle, love the golden colors.

Have a great weekend.
Regina In Pictures

RuneE said...

No mean ship that end even better photos!

PS Thank you for the comment. According to my book about Norwegian birds it is called plain "Crow" or Corvus corone. However, the bird does not fit the description in Wikipedia. Other sites mention that the genus Corvus corone has been split in two. That is all I know.

Kathie Brown said...

Oh, I am so jealous! You are on my dream trip! How wonderful to see all those birds and what nice photos you got!

Tom said...

One word for your Sky Watch posts and your blog.....


Thanks for stopping by.. have a great weekend.
Pictures & Words & Wiggers World

Dorothy said...

Great Skywatch post! Terrific trip!

Jane Hards Photography said...

Glorious sunset but I'm so jealous of your whale shots.

syel said...

wow! you must have had an amazing trip! all the photos are cool! i love the sunset but i really find the whale shots awesome!

P-TER said...

Wonderful shots!

Linda said...

What a treat of a series - gives a real flavour of your trip. I enjoyed your other posts about the trip too.

Unknown said...

That sunset shot is great ...I'm a real sucker for sunsets and sunrises :-)

Love the whale shots as well..

Sounds as though you are having an awesome trip !