Cruising Alaska's Inside Passage
20 guests from beijing, 50+ humpback whales, and me
In July 2016, I had a chance to go to Alaska for work. I spent a week on a chartered yacht with 20 guests from Beijing, 10 crew members, and myself. The guests spoke to each other entirely in Mandarin, and I spent most meals staring out the window watching the Southeastern Alaskan waters cruise by.
We departed Juneau, cruising north around Admiralty Island and out toward the outer coast. Then we turned south to Frederick Sound, culminating the trip at Dawe's Glacier in Endicott Arm.
We saw a breaching humpback 20ft from the boat on our very first night, and 50+ whales over the course of the week. Dinner was interrupted one night when we all jumped up to watch a coastal brown bear meandering along the shore of the bay we were anchored in. I averted my eyes when we went to a hatchery and shot with my camera held above my head, not looking through the view-finder as the hatchery staff clubbed mature salmon. I turned 25 in the middle of Frederick Sound, surrounded by humpbacks and no one I knew. And at the very end, when no one else wanted to, I jumped into glacial waters next to an iceberg.
I had the cheapest camera equipment onboard, but these are the moments that happened in between everything else.
photographer & creative director