The Kenai peninsula is usually at the top of most Alaska bucket lists, so we headed to the Kenai Fjords National Park for an all-day cruise. It was a soggy, foggy day, not ideal for photography, but we did manage to spot half a dozen whales, lots of harbor seals, sea lions, several kinds of puffins, a few bald eagles, and of course glacier calving.
We didn't have to go far to catch our cruise ship; it departed from the dock next to our hotel.
The calm, protected waters of Resurrection Bay included these hauntingly beautiful rock formations (below). Once we got out in the open waters of the Gulf of Alaska, the water got choppier. I was glad I was wearing my SeaBands and had taken seasickness meds before we left!
A "baitball" (a collection of sea birds congregating in one spot) indicated something going on below...
...and sure enough birds quickly scattered when a humpback whale reared up from underneath them. Except for one lone puffin, who continued his placid swim even though dwarfed by the humpback.
Four or five other whales surfaced during the trip, including one very close to the boat (unfortunately, I didn't get a shot of that one, darn it).
The boat pulled up close enough to touch a series of mini-waterfalls cascading down the rocky cliffs.
Harbor seals hauled out on the rocks.
Northwestern Glacier, the biggest of the three glaciers on this trip. A thundering sound accompanied glacial calving, with chunks of ice breaking off and crashing into the water.
Kenai Fjords National Park, out of Seward, Alaska