Now, we've done sea kayaking before. We did it in Mexico and we did it in Jamaica. This time, our group was pretty small, which was nice (just us and Penny from California and Gabe the guide and a couple from Israel). The tour company (Above and Beyond- I highly recommend if you're ever up that way) outfitted us with everything we needed, from the bottom of our very stylish rain boots to keep our feet dry, to the tops of our very stylish life jackets to keep us afloat should we fall in. (Which we didn't, but still). Here's Tony modeling his new look:
The blue apron looking thing is the skirt...it hooks onto the kayak to create a waterproof barrier between your top half and your bottom. Trust me, with all the splashing and sea spray, your bottom appreciates this.
There were bald eagles EVERYWHERE as we started out, (seriously, as common as pigeons!) and I probably would have been merely thrilled with just being able to watch them fly around above us and fish (there were several doing swooping dives into the waters around us for fish) but then something happened which was totally distracting.
The whales came.
Yes. I said whales. Not fifteen minutes into our trip, we encountered the pod of 12 to 15 humpback whales, just playing in the water all around us.
In the water, right next to us.
They were maybe 100 yards from us, and they'd come up to the surface to play and swim and flip their tails around. And they are beautiful! Just amazing animals! And to be so close! It was like winning the lottery on Christmas, seeing them all out there with us. We spotted dozens! Big ones, baby ones, dark ones, spotty ones. They were everywhere! (You don't really get how big they are until you see them like that, in person, and without any aquarium glass between you. They stayed with us for about an hour and a half, keeping pace while just doing their thing, enjoying the day with us).
I'll give you a moment to try to control your insane jealousy because, c'mon! THEY'RE WHALES!
Oh, but that is not the best part, Interpeeps! The best part is that I, in a rare moment of technological insight, managed to paddle and gawk at whales and not fall out of the kayak and film a small video documentary ALL AT THE SAME TIME!
I warn you, it's not the best filming ever. I don't know how to zoom and the frame is bouncing around enough to make even Jacques Cousteau seasick (give me a break, I was in a kayak! On the ocean! You try holding a camera still while trying to paddle!) and my commentary is less than award winning. (On the plus side, you do get to hear me yell the word "unbelievable!" roughly 90 times in a two minute span. If you're looking for a good way to get plowed, I recommend making it a drinking game. You'll be on the floor by the time I spot the third whale).
Anyway, I present to you the uncut director's version of "Sea Kayaking With Whales in Alaska", my soon-to-be award winning nature documentary. It's only a couple of minutes long because 1), you'd be seriously seasick if you tried to watch anything longer, and 2) I sound like enough of a dork as it is. I think it also answers the question about why I don't do video podcasts, because...well, you'll see. It's unbelievable.