We began our day earlier than normal in the protected waters of Halleck Harbor in Skanax Bay. A dedicated group of adventure-seekers went ashore for a multi-hour bushwhack through the forest of Kuiu Island, which has one of the highest densities of black bears in Southeast Alaska. Soon, other hikers ventured out for forest walks on game trails and to explore the incredible intertidal zone of this area. We all returned for a delicious brunch on board National Geographic Venture before heading back out for more hikes and kayaking opportunities. After our young Global Explorers took the helm on the Zodiacs, we pulled anchor and looked for wildlife in Frederick Sound. Almost immediately, we came across a group of humpback whales bubble-net feeding, a perfect end to our afternoon!
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.