Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


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Whales!

Since everyone seems to have a different date for World Whale Day, I figured today was as good a day as any to share some whale photos 🙂

The humpback whales are here in Hawaii for the winter – saw five just the other day, including a baby! Seeing whales from a little outrigger canoe is possibly even more exciting than seeing them from CELESTE – one is so much closer to the water and very aware that the whale is a 40-ton creature and the canoe is a very tippy 40-pounds (she’s made of carbon fiber, hence why she’s so lightweight – and fast and fun!). Didn’t get any photos of the whales from the canoe (didn’t bring the camera), but here are some from back up in Alaska:

Breaching whale

Humpback whale seen from CELESTE in Southeast Alaska, 2014.

This is probably my favorite. I love how well it captures coastal Alaska – the rocky shoreline, the steep forest climbing up and up in background, the wispy clouds, the cool, overcast weather, and, of course, the star of the show, the breaching whale. Do you see the two black specks above him? Those are bald eagles… gives you a sense of how immense this landscape is….

Bubble-net-feeding whales

Humpbacks bubble-net feeding in Southeast Alaska, 2017.

Here’s another image I love. These whales are bubble-net feeding in the deep water right off the shore. Bubble-net feeding is a clever and cooperative technique that humpback whales use to corral small fish and krill into balls, whereupon the whales burst up through the center of the fish ball, mouths open wide, to enjoy their feast! There is incredible footage of this in the new BBC documentary Seven Worlds, One Planet – Antarctica. Highly recommended!

Gray whale tail

Grey whale diving off Mexico, 2018.

Here’s a grey whale in Bahia Magdalena, Baja, Mexico. Grey whales make the longest migration of any mammal, more than 6000 miles each way between the Arctic and tropical waters. It was pretty exciting to see these grey whales in Mexico after having seen them in the Arctic. Just like it’s wonderful to see the humpbacks here in Hawaii after having seen so many up in Alaska!

Spinner dolphins

Spinner dolphins, Hawaii, 2019.

Obviously these aren’t whales, but as I don’t have any pictures of whales from Hawaii, I thought I’d throw in spinner dolphins instead. I love spinner dolphins – they’re so playful and they often show up around the outrigger canoe. It’s always so much fun to jump in the water with them. Though this photo was actually taken while scuba diving – this was a wonderful dive!

 


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Alaska Video No. 11 – Bears and more bears

We recently uploaded the next installment in our Alaska voyage video series. This one takes you through the islands of Southeast Alaska, where we find deserted anchorages and a wilderness river teeming with bears and salmon before reaching the busy town of Ketchikan, our last Alaskan port before heading south to Canada. You can find the episodes leading up to it in order here. 🙂

Hope you enjoy it!


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2020 Calendar – Alaska Wildlife

We’ve made another calendar for sale this year, featuring some of our favorite images we captured of wild animals in Alaska. Bears, whales, moose, an adorable sea otter, a baby seal on an ice floe, and Arctic critters like muskox and snowy owls. We hope you enjoy it! It’s for sale here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/seth-ellen-leonard/wildlife-of-alaska/calendar/product-24260768.html

Breaching whale

Whale breaching near Glacier Bay, Alaska – the cover photo of our new calendar. Copyright Ellen and Seth Leonard.

 


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Alaska Voyage Video 10: Gulf of Alaska and Inside Passage

Excited to post our next video from our Alaskan voyages! This episode covers another part of our return trip in Summer 2016 from the Aleutians back to Puget Sound/Juan de Fuca Strait area. A four-day passage across the Gulf of Alaska brings CELESTE to Peril Strait, the aptly named entrance to Southeast Alaska’s inside channels. Here we explore forested islands, deserted coves, hot springs, and lagoons accessible only by dinghy before transiting Wrangell Narrows, another tight waterway with fast-running tides.

The previous videos leading up to this one can all be found on the Videos page.

Hope you enjoy Episode 10!

 


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Scenes of Alaska 2019 Calendar

With the holidays approaching, we decided to put together a calendar of some of our favorite photographs of Alaska. We’ve put it up for sale on Lulu here. We hope it’ll make a good holiday gift! 2019 Calendar Cover

In choosing the images, we focused on the wild beauty of Alaska, so you’ll find mountains, waterfalls, dramatic coastline, and even polar sea ice! We also wanted to showcase the natural variety of this vast state, and so picked photographs from places as diverse as Denali National Park, Prince William Sound, the Aleutian Islands, the Arctic North Slope, Kodiak Island, the St Elias Range, and the islands and coast of Southeast Alaska. Finally, we tried to include shots that captured life in Alaska, from fishing to float planes to wildlife sightings. You can see the calendar here. We hope you like it!

Full URL for the calendar: http://www.lulu.com/shop/seth-and-ellen-leonard/scenes-of-alaska-2019/calendar/product-23874253.html


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2017 in Photos

Happy new year, Gone Floatabout readers!

Just like last year, I’ve put together a little “year in review”, with some of the highlights (or not so high lights) of 2017 aboard Celeste: Continue reading


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Foul Weather Gear Review

Landfall in AlaskaSeveral people have asked us about our new (new this past spring) Helly Hansen foul weather gear, in person and on this blog, so here’s our review after testing it out this summer in Alaska and this fall on the West Coast. Continue reading