Whale Watching & Scenic Cruise
Captain Ken spent several years as Port Captain in Glacier Bay National Park. His job was to Captain a high-speed 235-passenger catamaran on an 8-hour daily Wildlife and Glacier Tour. This involved spotting and bringing his passengers as close to the animals as possible without changing their behavior.
The quiet 34ft. NEVER MONDAY is much better suited for getting up close to the animals than a large, noisy passenger boat . With this experience and over 40 years of being a fisherman in Alaska, Captain Ken knows the wildlife’s habits, where to find the best spots for viewing, and how to identify and get up close without scaring them away .
6 Reasons to Choose Skagway for Whale Watching
1. The Whale Watching boats in the larger towns are more numerous and surround the whales often sending them deeper in the water. Out of Skagway there are fewer boats and we will most likely be the only boat.
2. Booking a fishing charter trip aboard your cruise ship will cost more in other towns.
3. You will have a more intimate experience because there is a maximum of only 6 passengers at a time on board.
4. Most of the whale watching tours, sold on the cruise ships, hold 149 passengers which makes it more difficult to view wildlife.
5. The NEVER MONDAY has railings which allow you to walk around to the front of the boat for better wildlife viewing. We also have seating available on the flying bridge for a breathtaking 360-degree view!
6. Your chances of other fishing or tour boats being in the pictures are less likely due to the speed of the NEVER MONDAY. We will get you there first!
Captain Ken will be happy take you in close when you spot a bird or other wildlife. You can try and see if you can stump the Captain on identifying the many birds in the area. If that does happen he will enjoy looking it up.
WILDLIFE WITH THE HIGHEST PROBABILITY OF SPOTTING
BALD EAGLES: This area of Alaska has the highest concentration of bald eagles in the world. During the Spring season, we can locate eagle nests and often can see the adult eagles feeding their young.
HUMPBACK WHALES: Humpback whales like to feed on krill and small fish. Knowing the location and availability of their feed gives the NEVER MONDAY the advantage of being able to find WHALES for viewing. Captain Ken will be able to let you know the likelihood of wildlife viewing at the time of your departure. The NEVER MONDAY has a cruising speed of 17 knots, about 20 miles an hour, while most of the charter boats in the Skagway harbor have a cruisng speed of only 6 to 8 knots. This means the NEVER MONDAY has TWICE THE RANGE to find a whale or other wildlife if they are in the area.
Picture taken from the NEVER MONDAY during a fishing trip, June 26th 2014
Are in the area most of the summer. Often times we will see them hauled out on the rocks or swimming close to where others are sunning. In late spring we start seeing the newborn pups. Its not uncommon for the seals to come right up to the side of the boat as they try to grab a Salmon we are landing.
Harbor Seal photos taken from the NEVER MONDAY, July 15th 2014
STELLAR SEA LIONS
Often during most of the summer, Stellar Sea Lions are in the Skagway area. In some areas of Alaska the Stellar Sea Lion are considered endangered; however, in Southeast Alaska this is not the case. We have the highest numbers in over forty years. They also like to come up close to the boat to see if we might have a salmon treat on the line.
Can be seen all summer, however on warm days they like to move to the snow to help keep them cool. Mountain goats have a long shaggy white coat that often makes it hard to spot them against the snowy background. Even though they like to hang out on cliffs on the mountainsides they occasionally come down to sea level as in the photo.
We have two types of otters in Southeast Alaska. The most common on the inside waters is the river otter. They are often times spotted in the Skagway Boat Harbor or swimming along the shore. River otters hunt for their food in the water but spend the rest of their time on land.
Are not usually found on the inside waters around Skagway. They’re more common out on the coast or open ocean. Unlike the river otters, the sea otters spend almost all their time in the water. The way to tell them apart in the water is a river otter will never hang around floating on its back like the Sea Otter. Also, the river otter’s tail is almost as long as its body while the sea otter’s tail is short.
Are common in this area from mid May to the beginning of August. Arctic terns are famous for their long-distance migration, from Alaska to Antarctica where they spend the winter. The distance of this annual migratory trip is approximately 44,300 miles. This is by far the longest migration of any known animal. Arctic Terns have been known to live as long as 35 years.
Marbled Murrelet's are small seabirds. They nest in Old-Growth Forest or just above the tree line. They will fly long distances from where the feed on the ocean to their nests. Their numbers have declined in the last 50 years because of logging. When you spot one it's a sign of a healthy untouched wilderness. We're proud to say in Taiya Inlet out of Skagway the Marbled Murrelets are still very abundant. This photo was taken July 24th by crew member Mary Butker after many attempts.
There are two types of killer whales, or orcas: transient and resident. The killer whales in our area are the transients, which means they travel around following the food sources to where they are most abundant that time of year. They move into our area for a short time and we might not see them for a few days. Its like fishing only we never know for sure when we might catch a view. The transients' diet is more diverse than resident killer whales who like to stay in one area for an extended period of time. Resident orcas eat only fish, while the transients not only eat fish but almost any other animal that might venture into the ocean. Some of the animals include seals, sea otters, sea lions, whales, marine birds, and swimming deer, moose or bear. There has never been an incident recorded where a killer whale has attacked a human in the wild.
Photo taken form the NEVER MONDAY, July 9th 2014
Because of the steep terrain along the shore, sighting of bears are limited. However bear sightings have been on the rise as the captains become more aware of the bears' seasonal habits.
Photo taken from the NEVER MONDAY, July 17th 2014