Captain Jack whale watching
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- Captain Jack whale watchingMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsGreen TravelersHistory BuffsAdventure Travelers
When I went whale watching with Captain Jack Cadigan out of Auke Bay last August, he didn't promise that we'd see humpback whales engaged in team feeding, but he did promise that we'd see whales. Captain Jack is also the only whale watch provider that not only promises you won't get seasick but will refund your money if you do. His twin-engine boat has a specially designed that provides a very stable ride, and he has never had to give anyone a refund for seasickness yet.
Later I asked whale biologist Jan Straley of the University of Alaska Southeast to describe the team feeding behavior known as bubble net feeding. "One whale dives deep beneath a school of herring and blows grapefruit-sized bubbles in a large circle to create a 'net' that traps the herring. The fish are trapped in the center of the bubble net, with the bubbles below continuously moving upward and forcing the herring closer together until the whales surge to the surface with their mouths wide open, says Straley.
Until I went whale watching with Captain Jack, I thought I was jinxed and not meant to see whales, because I never saw more than a glimpse of a whale on watches in Southern California or Maui (though I did hear Humpback males singing while scuba diving in December in Maui).
Captain Jack seems to always find something magical to see. This year, instead of bubble net feeding I saw baby humpbacks learning to breach. When they're learning a breach resembles a bit of a sideways belly flop. And although I failed to get an awesome picture of any of the babies trying this, I snapped some great fluke shots.
If Captain Jack's boat is full on a day you want to go, I would trust him to recommend another provider. All of them share information daily about the best sightings because they all want people to get the most out of an Alaskan whale watch.
- Captain Jack whale watching
We went with Captain Jack, and were very happy about the whole experience. He was pretty reasonable compared to everyone else, and I liked that when I researching it back in 2003, everyone recommended him. If he's still around, check it out. http://www.whale-watch.biz/trip.htm. We went in the first week of August, and saw 16 whales during our trip, and a couple breached the water. One was about 30 feet from our boat - that's CLOSE - and it breached high out of the water, making great photos for those with good fast cameras. Mine was a schlocky point and shoot at the time, so I didn't catch it. Got other photos, but not the million dollar shot that was offered right in front of me. Be sure to bring a decent camera with you, or all the experiences won't record very well.