You know that “right time, right place” magical thing…that happened.
Having learned it was “bubble-net season” for a short summer spell, there was no time to lose in catching the next ferry to the state capital and book on Juneau Whale Watch (JWW) next available whale watching tour.
With the help of another JWW boat to tip us off, Jason—our jovial and quick-witted captain—deposited us in the right drop of ocean. The staff on board helpfully deployed a hydrophone, enabling us to eavesdrop on the whales warbling their haunting, unearthly feeding call songs. Perhaps foremost, where to direct our eyes, cameras and binoculars in anticipation of the remarkable activity. Although no underwater microphones were needed to hear the excited tonal blows, loudly reverberating off the water with every trumpeting exhalation.
It was a profound sight to see the marine mammals coalesce in a jumble of glistening bodies, sounds, splashes and raw energy. When the complex behaviour happened a second time on the same tour, I just about erupted in a rainbow of emotion. As unparalleled firsts go, this one teetered on perfection.
Sadly, the time had come to leave and I figured it would be best to give the memories a chance to breathe. Only back on shore, could I start to process what I’d just absorbed. Wide-eyed on whales, I was humbled by so much uninhibited nature, it was worth travelling all the way to Alaska from England for that single experience alone. Happiness cartwheeled out of my body across the wake from the boat and opened a gulf of yearning for more; one that could only be filled by the same species. Stephen Fry summed it up best: “Suck my pants and call me Noreen!” That was the best day of my life.