Peril Straight
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 29 Jun 2022

Peril Straight, 6/29/2022, National Geographic Venture

  • Aboard the National Geographic Venture
  • Alaska

Bonanza: bo·nan·za, /bəˈnanzə/, noun

a situation or event that creates a sudden increase in wealth, good fortune, or profit

The “bonanza” starts at 6:10 a.m. this morning aboard National Geographic Venture with an announcement from our expedition leader that humpback whales are off the bow, and some are breaching. The bedhead legions pour out onto the bow looking a bit ragged around the edges, and a palatable jolt of energy runs through the group with the first breach. Things start to hum as the humpbacks form into a cooperative feeding group. They lunge to the surface, mouths agape and the herring aghast. The emotional stamina of the group is tested with a bit of high voltage when a pod of killer whales is spotted coming towards us. The humpbacks move into Peril Straight, as eight to twelve black and whites take center stage with breaching and what seem to be feeding behaviors. As the killer whales pass by, the humpbacks begin their second act. One whale throws a bit of tail, lobtailing in naturalist speak, and it lands with an audible thwaaack! And the final coup de grace: a humpback rolls on its side and extends its pectoral fin up in the air, all 14 feet of it. A whale behavior trifecta, exponentialized. Good fortune favors the vigilant today.

Oh yeah…we also went kayaking and paddleboarding in the afternoon in Takatz Bay, and we saw a bear.

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