Bubble-Net Feeding Whales with Lione Clare and Neil McDermott (Day Trips)

Imagine the compelling images you will create with the alp-like mountains of the Tongass National Forest or the snow-capped dormant Volcano Mt Edgecumbe in the background as a group of these 40-ton leviathans explode out of the water with mouths agape. Fill your frame with herring by the ton attempting to escape from not only the whale’s mouths but the hundreds of Bald Eagles, Stellar Sea Lions, Harbor Porpoise, Harbor Seals and Gulls as well. We scheduled these tours to coincide with the spring migration of the humpback whales as they return to SE Alaska from their fasting round trip to the calving and mating waters of Hawaii.

On this 7 hour expedition you capture this pristine marine ecosystem burst to life as Humpbacks and other marine mammals come here to gorge on the calorie rich bounty of the herring spawn, locally called Sac Roe. There were 52 whales concentrated in a 2 square mile area here in Sitka last year. It’s no wonder the BBC filmed documentary footage of this spectacle. We limit our tours to just 4 guests so our Sitka native Photography Leader, Lione Clare can give individual attention and mentoring and there is no jockeying for position. While aboard you will also eavesdrop on the whale’s communication on our research grade hydrophone.
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Humpback Whales in Southeast Alaska

Story and photography by Neil McDermott

Humpback Whale. © Neil McDermott

     The only place on earth you can observe Humpback whales working as a team bubble net feeding, is here in the pristine, nutrient rich waters of Southeast Alaska. This most impressive act of cooperative feeding was on display from early October to Mid-November in the Eastern Channel and up towards Silver Bay in front of the aptly named whale Park here in Sitka, Alaska.

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