Whale Watching: Tips for an Unforgettable Adventure

Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 12:00PM

Whale Watching: Tips for an Unforgettable Adventure

For an unforgettable adventure this fall, why not go whale watching? The water may be turning too cold for you to swim in, but it’s just right for the majestic whales who call waters around the world “home.”

Not sure how to get started? Take a look at our tips for whale watching below!

Decide what kind of experience you want

It’s no question that seeing your first whale will be a special experience—you just have to decide how you’ll do it! Do you prefer to spot whales in an up close, personal setting on the water? Or would you rather kick back and keep your eyes peeled for them from the shore? Either way is sure to return spectacular results; just be sure to decide so that you find the spot or tour that is right for you.

Get to know when and where to see whales in action

Another key factor is when and where you plan to go whale watching. If a fall experience in the next couple of months is right for you, one great spot to consider is Juneau, Alaska. For a nature-focused whale watching experience, head to Alaska’s capital! You will be able to spot humpback whales from comfortable land spots, or head out on the water and—with some luck and careful planning—orcas as well!

If you’re used to thinking about Alaska as an Arctic wonderland, think again—while October temperatures in Juneau may dip down into the 40s and 30s, it’s far from icy, and a few thick layers will keep you comfortable as you watch for whales.

Pack gear that will keep you comfy…

Speaking of layers, let’s look at the best gear for your adventure! While exact pieces will, of course, depend on your location, it’s always a good idea to dress in layers you can take off or put back on as the weather changes. For on-the-water experiences, weatherproof outerwear is a must. Also don’t forget to don your favorite cap and put on plenty of sunscreen—even if the weather is cooler, spending several hours in the sun can still affect your skin.

Also be sure to pack water and easy to-go snacks for the family so that you can patiently watch for whales without getting hungry. If you’re headed on a guided tour, simply check with your guide to see what you can and should bring on board.

…and help you see the whales up close

Bring a pair of sunglasses along—while you might not want to wear them during your whole trip, they can help you reduce the sun’s glare and spot whales a little easier. Pack a good pair of binoculars as well!

Take photos, but savor the moment

There are many guides online for taking the very best whale photo, so look to them for some great advice! Basic tips include using a high shutter speed, having your phone or camera ready at a moment’s notice, and, of course, charging it fully before you go! It’s worth noting, however, that sometimes just seeing the whale right there in front of you is enough—take a few photos, but be sure to savor the moment and see it from your own eyes, too! You’ll be able to appreciate the experience even more.

We hope that today’s blog has given you the know-how needed to enjoy your first whale watching adventure. When you come prepared and practice safety along the way, it’s guaranteed to be an experience you and your family won’t soon forget.

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