south eastern alaska

We have returned from our 30th anniversary ex-po-tition (to borrow a phrase from Winnie the Pooh). An Alaskan cruise has long been on our collective bucket list and now we can cross it off. I have to say, it was a magnificent experience, different and better than what I had imagined.

I think there is a reason why Alaska shows up as an island in most US maps. Even though it is technically connected to the mainland, it is, for all intents and purposes, totally separate from the lower 48. For instance, in Juneau there are cars, roads, McDonald’s…even a Walmart. But the roads lead out of town and then…stop. There is no way to drive from Juneau TO anywhere, everything arrives and departs by plane or boat. Evidently when the McDonald’s opened, there was a line one mile long. They ran out of food in two hours, then had to close for two weeks until they were able to restock.

Alaskan “taxis” are little float planes that can take you from a small town to a remote lodge to have a quiet week fishing or hunting. It is definitely a different land up there, one which the Alaskans are trying hard to preserve, although they aren’t always so successful.

There was so much to learn about the wildlife and because we were on a Lindblad/National Geographic tour, we learned an enormous amount about bears, whales, birds, otters, see lions, glaciers…the list goes on and on. I was also able to learn a lot more about photography, some of which will come in handy for my future photo expeditions. Unfortunately, this was the kind of expedition that shows up my weaknesses as a photographer. Evidently I am not good at taking photographs of wildlife from a moving zodiac. Nor am I very good at being patient enough to get that perfect picture of a whale breaching. But I did get some decent pictures of some interesting things and some okay pictures of some awesome things so I will just shut up now and start showing you a few of them. I think I’ll take few posts to share them all. Oh, and I am starting to figure out Lightroom so if they are not edited very well, it’s because I’m still learning how to do it.

Things I learned:

1.Sea lions are very photogenic.

2. Never use the digital zoom, it will ALWAYS be grainy and can ruin a perfectly good picture.

sleeping on their rock
sleeping on their rock
grainy but one of my favorite pictures.
grainy but one of my favorite pictures.

The next lesson, what I learned about whales…stay tuned!!!

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