Lake Eva, Chatham Strait

Jul 14, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion

We began our first full day on board with kayaking and hiking the Lake Eva Trail. The well-groomed forest trails took us into the lush rainforest of Southeast Alaska. Salmon secretly swam under our kayaks on their way upriver.

As beautiful and enchanting as our morning was, the day jumped into another dimension by afternoon. The plan was to look for whales. We found them. Large-tail flukes unfurled as these massive creatures dove deeply in a synchronized ritual. Bubble net feeding humpback whales erupted with mouths agape. Sometimes six whales and sometimes seven joined in the activity.

After hours of our watching this behavior, the humpbacks drifted apart. We had observed orcas in the distance while humpback viewing, so we set out in search of them. We found them. Just as we approached, they burst into stealth speed after Dall’s Porpoise. Four orca leap at the same time coming completely out of the water. Meanwhile others played with a young member of the orca family.

Then the baby orca breached repeatedly. It had already on its mom and twirled around in the water just below the surface. This active group kept us entertained until dinner was called.

It was a magic day filled with sights and sounds most of us had never experienced before. We felt the awe that children feel when they see something new. We added a new piece to the kaleidoscope of our lives which changes the way we see and know the world.

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About the Author

Marylou Blakeslee


For the past 20 years, Marylou Blakeslee has traveled the world sharing her love of wild places. She lectures on a number of topics from the bears and wolves of the Arctic, to the leopard seals and whales of the Antarctic, as well as the turtles and fishes of the Great Barrier Reef.

About the Videographer

Julio Rodriguez

Video Chronicler

Born and raised in Ecuador, the son of Spanish and American parents, Julio developed a passion for storytelling and environmental conservation at an early age. After majoring in History at Carleton College (Minnesota), with a thesis on the Basque anti-Franco movement, he taught English in Spain and made short promotional films for an energy efficiency company in India and two environmental conservation NGOs in Greece and Galapagos. 

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