One of the best experiences in nature that a person could possibly have is to see a whale surface just a few feet from their boat. On a rare, sunny day in southeast Alaska with the water as calm as could be, I watched and listened for signs of humpbacked whales. Many times the sound of exhaling is what would clue me in to their position, and many times they would be too far off for photos. This one was close, so close that when it surfaced and blew a spout of water high into the air it startled me. I quickly turned to see it gliding by preparing to dive. I focused, made two images, and the whale was gone.