I got rained on almost continuously for 15 days in July while waiting for a favorable weather window to make the dangerous run from Elfin Cove up the outer coast of Glacier Bay National Park to Lituya Bay. I never got the chance. The reality of motoring around in the North Pacific in 15’+ seas just did not interest me. While passing away the time, I got to spend a few days in one of my favorite locations, Taylor Bay near Cape Spencer. It is an area of unimaginable beauty and pure wilderness. Rugged sea stacks on the coast meet glaciers that come down to the sea surrounded by 12,000′ mountains. Unfortunately, the weather made it impossible to shoot any spectacular landscape scenes, but I did spend a few days photographing the most uninhibited sea otter that I have ever encountered. Usually, sea otters will not let me get within 100 yards of them before they dive down to escape. I have no idea how they were almost exterminated when they used to be hunted. They are just so incredibly shy. This male let me follow him around in the pouring rain in my inflatable. He would swim from one side of the bay to the other all the while diving down and eating everything that he could catch. Sea otters need to eat something like 25% of their body weight every day. Often, he would be visible in the shallow water directly underneath my boat, so I could watch him forage and anticipate where he was going to come back up to the surface to photograph him. This is my favorite image. He captured 2 crabs and brought them back to the surface to eat. I caught this comical expression with his mouth open while eating. This image was created using my Canon 5D, 400mm f4 DO IS lens at f4 and 1/500 second.
I spent 2 very wet days following an incredibly friendly sea otter around a bay that I was anchored in on the outer coast of Glacier Bay National Park. I have never had any luck getting within 100 yards of a sea otter, let alone take it’s picture. The moms and babies especially want nothing to do with me. But this little guy was a whole different story. When I first found him, he did not react and swim away, rather he just continued his swimming and feeding routine. I spent about 8 hours 2 days in a row following him around and observing his behavior. He was so incredibly cute and tolerant of my presence. This is one of my favorite images of him scratching his head with the beautiful green forest reflection all around him. Please visit more of my Sea Otter Photography.
Every time that this sea otter went to the far end of the bay at low tide, he would drop down to the bottom and grab 2 crabs to eat. He must have eaten 20-30 crabs in an hour. It was very cool watching him, and he could have cared less about my inflatable following him around all day. Please visit more of my Sea Otter Photography.
I first visited Taylor Bay near Cape Spencer in May and knew that I had to come back. The Fairweather Mountains and the Brady Glacier are just incredible to look at, if you can see them. I am still trying to figure out how to photograph them if the conditions ever allowed for it. In the meantime, I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the rocky shoreline and moraine flats. This composition came together very quickly for me. It was the only golden sunset light image I got in 15 days of getting rained on in SE Alaska. Please visit more of my Glacier Bay National Park Photography.
I submitted several of my landscape and wildlife images from the marine environment this past January to Nature’s Best for consideration in their inaugural Ocean Views competition. This image of glacial ice in Johns Hopkins Inlet at sunrise was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Landscape category and is currently on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC through December. Please take a look at more of my images from Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.
I just got back from my first trip to SE Alaska for the year. I was hoping to be in Glacier Bay before anyone else this year and while it still looked like winter. The weather and photo opportunities were disappointing, but that is SE Alaska for you. This image was created on Leland Island during the only nice sunset I got in 11 days of effort. I really enjoyed the shells on this beach looking up towards the snow capped peaks enveloped in the clouds. I could hear the Steallar sea lions barking on a nearby island as I took this photo. There was very little wind, so my boat was anchored in the lagoon behind me. It was a perfect Alaska wilderness experience. Please visit more of my Glacier Bay National Park Photography.