Hi Mike... looks like a great trip... couple of comments if I may and plz.. these are just my observations seeing the pics as they show on my comp...
1) You mentioned boat motion... very important to keep boat motion in mind and not many do... when on a boat u r actually dealing with 4 motions.. wave, boat motion, boat motor vibration and yourself and any 1 of the 4 can multiply the effects of any of the other 3. The motor vibration can play havoc if u r using a tripod on the deck the same way the vibration of a car motor can play havoc on pics if u rest ur camera on the window frame while shooting through the car window with the motor still running. So try not to use a tripod on a boat deck and also try not to stablize your camera by resting it on a railing or any part of the boat directly connected to the hull if the motor is running. The best way to shoot on a boat is to stablize yourself as best u can with proper foot positioning and leaning your body against a piece of the structure if needed. A beanbag can also help in reducing boat vibrations if shooting out of a smaller craft.
With all this in mind its best to try for shutter speeds in exccess of 800 no matter what u r shooting on water including animals like whales which one would consider extremely slow moving. All these motions will cause blur and may well play havoc on your photography if not kept in mind...
I know it sounds complicated but once it becomes second nature you wont have to think about it again
2) your eagle pics where obviously taken on cloudy days... do what u can to increase your shutter speeds to avoid motion blur as much as possible. For me ISO is the easiest way to do this. 1600 or even higher might be needed. Im gonna post a few bear pics later which were taken in a down pour where I used a setting of 1600 and still only managed a shutter speed of 80.... should have gone to 3200 looking back.
3) for post processing learn the program u r using as best u can. Learn its abilities.. its strengths and weaknesses.
4) make sure u r using the proper light setting. Its something some ppl forget to change as conditions change but can make a huge difference in the end result of the pics.
5) with high contrst pics try and choose the object u want properly exposed to focus on.
6) as u mentioned.. u were pushing your lenses to the limit. Sometimes it is fun to rent a longer lens when on outings like this if u do not own such a lens. It allows u to play with gear and get better results while also giving u an idea whether or not a purchase like that may be needed in the future.
hope this all helps
Canon 7D + 50D + EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM + EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Pelican // Black Rapid // Think Tank // Manfrotto // Garmin
Reflections On Canadian Wildlife