Today was a quintessential Southeast Alaskan day, and we have the soaking wet rain gear and smiles to prove it. We began our morning on George Island. We explored the forest and beaches of this special place and hiked to a World War II gun site that was decommissioned in 1944. After a small reposition during lunch, we found ourselves anchored off the Inian Islands and ready for an incredible afternoon of exploring these rich and diverse waters on a Zodiac cruise. As we warmed up again on National Geographic Venture, humpback whales were sighted in the distance, and a lone male orca graced those of us up late as darkness began to set.
National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest arose amidst light clouds within the protected waters of Ushk Bay. This area is known for a salmon stream and yields plenty of opportunity for kayaking and exploring the vast meadows of its inner waterways. On this day’s occasion, guests were able to hike and paddle their way along the coast of Ushk Bay and witness firsthand the life cycle of Pacific salmon making their way upstream. As we transited through Peril Strait, we were lucky to see humpback whales. These immense mammals were “lunge feeding” very near our ship. Being able to witness this event was unique for guests and staff. Lunge feeding is process through which individual whales push their gaping mouths through the surface and collect any fish or planktonic invertebrates in the process. Witnessing this behavior was truly a remarkable experience for all. We will cherish this moment for a lifetime.