A few days ago, the director of the Alaska Whale Foundation suggested that we head to the Bay of Pillars. During their surveys of humpback whales, they reported that large numbers of whales were feeding on schools of herring in the area. Early on the bow this morning, staff and guests congregated to search for the whales. At first, a few whales were noticed in the distance while over twenty bald eagles dove on schooling fish. By the end of breakfast, the bridge team spotted a large group of humpback whales. We set course towards them, and once nearby, the deck team dropped Zodiacs.

In a coordinated effort, the teams efficiently managed to get guests out towards the whales, which were working cooperatively to capture herring by bubble net feeding. This behavior is infrequently seen and always a spectacle to see, but even more so when seen from Zodiacs.

While watching the humpbacks, a group of killer whales cruised by, passing National Geographic Venture and the Zodiacs. Once the small boats returned, we continued north in Chatham Strait and caught up with the group of twenty-one killer whales surrounded by snowy peaks and clear skies.