Sunday, March 27, 2011


Well it's that time of the year again--Herring
Season is right around the corner. The planes
are buzzing around the skies all day long on
the lookout for the huge schools of herring
and the wildlife has returned in abundance
to gorge on the millions of fish that will
be spawning here soon.

It was another warm, sunny day so we
delivered a cake before church, went to
church, enjoyed an all-you-can-eat shrimp
Mission's fundraiser after church,
delivered 2 more cakes and then
decided to head out on the water.

We left the dock and it wasn't 3 minutes out
that we had a HUGE Humpback cross right
directly in front of us! No picture--we were
all taken aback by it and slowed the boat
down to a standstill just to watch.

Soon after we saw the local tour boat go by
filled with people that were out whale
watching for the day.

We went a few minutes farther and stopped
the boat and what do you know...

Here comes another pair. These were so close you can
easily see the blow holes on the front.

We turned the boat off and were just watching when
this one decided to dive.

Pretty view with a few seagulls on the rocks. Right now
it seems like Alfred Hitchcok's "The Birds" movie
since there are hundreds of seagulls around town waiting
on the herring fishery. A lot of the larger roofs in town
(like the large hotel) are white from all of the bird
poo being deposited on it.

Somebody got a little too hyped up from all
the whale action and had to be locked in
a body vise-grip until he could calm
himself down. Sheesh.

We went a ways farther to get away from all the whales
and found a shallow channel to anchor up in and fish for
a few herring with a pole. These guys are great bait
for halibut and they love to bite the multiple tiny
hooks on a light fishing pole. My daughter went in
the kayak to paddle around a bit since the water
was so nice and flat.

Here there were 4 herring on the line--2 flew
off into the boat (dogs are inspecting them)

Lots of wildlife all around--eagles, sea lions, ducks...

Lilly just can't stop staring at the fish in the bucket.

Neo just can't stop staring at the fish in the water.

So here is my younger daughter happily paddling
while we all enjoy the silence...

and look what surfaced 50 feet away...

and brought their friends...

these are not zoomed--we were surrounded...

You can't believe the sound of the foooossssshhhhhhh
as they blow one by one in the silence. My daughter
said she could hear them pulling air in after they
blew too since she was down on the water.

It. Was. Amazing.

and Awesome.

and Breathtaking.

and Scary because my daughter
was in the kayak, in the water.




We had her hug the shore and we all
watched them, then she was able to get
back in the boat.

Eventually a rain squall came over and
they all went away, so we headed home.

What an amazing sight.

This was a cool shot of Mt. Edegecumbe as we were
going by. And we had another whale come alongside
us as we were headed home too, just kind of keeping
pace with us as we went along.

I thought this was a neat shot of some of the huge
boats that are here waiting for the Herring Fishery.
That should be happening here in the next couple
of days...


Susan said...

It is so fortunate the whales decided to appear near you. I enjoyed the photos and concern for your daughter in the kayak. Once again, you really live in a beautiful part of our wondrous world. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I see you took necrotic...I mean Neo on the boat! LOL

Karen Deborah said...

Wow Kris what an amazing day. I felt my chest grab about your daughter and then wondered if they'd hurt her. Probably not but what do I know? Whales eat kril not meat so they might just look her over. Amazing wonderful stories and pictures. You could write a book.

My grandma used to make pickled herring. Quite yummy in sour cream on fresh rye. I didn't realize they were as big as they are. Don't think I have ever seen herring before and thought of them as more minnow sized. They are a pretty decent sized fish. Not by Alaska standards of course!

Keurig Mini said...

I love whales. A few years ago we were in Baja California where the whales give birth - what an exciting event.

I tried to take photos but it was hard with a rocking boat and how quick the whales were.

Really nice photos!


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