The calm waters of southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage teem with captivating wildlife and breathtaking scenery. At this time of year humpback whales congregate in large numbers and may indulge in impressive bubble-net feeding, breaching, tail lobbing and other dramatic behaviors. Aboard the classic wooden boat, the M/V Westward, you will have a front row seat for sea lion haul-outs, bald eagles and an ancient glacier with giant icebergs calving off its face. We’ll search for brown bears catching salmon, walk through lush and serene rainforests, explore the diversity of creatures in tide pools and skiff or kayak through the gentle waters, drifting quietly past hanging gardens and waterfalls.
Benefit from Wendy Shattil’s 30+ years of field experience as a professional wildlife and conservation photographer. The remote wilderness adventures we’ll encounter from our comfortable wandering home invite a tranquility of the soul. Expect to be stimulated by the quiet solitude and reminded of our place in nature. We’ll do our best to capture these feelings and experiences with our eyes and our cameras and learn the power of our own storytelling ability through compelling imagery.
Whatever your skill level, you will learn tips, techniques and strategies to create memorable images. In the comfort of the Westward’s salon we’ll project our images and review the day’s experiences in a friendly group setting. Rather than snapping pictures and hurrying to find the next encounter, we’ll take time to savor each moment. Every scene is constantly changing, each animal is an individual and every behavior has a purpose.
If you think you’ve “seen” Glacier Bay from the deck of a cruise ship, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised and amazed by the things you’ll see on this trip. Glacier Bay is one of the largest national parks in the United States and yes, it does feature a lot of ice. However, there’s so much more. Traveling on a 50-foot boat that we use for our sleeping and eating, we take up to eight passengers. You’ll get closeup photos of humpback whales, sea lions, sea otters and often, brown and black bears as they forage along the ocean shoreline. Although we can get many amazing photos right from the deck of the boat, we’ll also kayak and do short hikes. I’m partnering yet again on this trip with Juneau resident and photographer extraordinaire Mark Kelley. Mark is a NANPA member who has been a Showcase winner many times. He has produced numerous coffee table books and calendars on Alaska and is an all-around nice guy. This will be my seventh trip to Glacier Bay. Our parent company, Dolphin Charters, has been traveling Glacier Bay for some 40 years. The captain knows the area intimately, and as a former whale biologist, intimately understands the behaviors of these magnificent marine mammals.