We woke to a bank of fog as we slid slowly into Hanus Bay, giving us lovely sea and sky images. We saw dozens of marbled murrelets floating on the surface and “Jack” Silver, one-year old sexually premature salmon, jumping from the water. After breakfast, we kayaked or hiked the trail seeing eagles, brown bears, wildflowers, and the first of the delicious salmonberries. Our afternoon is spent cruising and watching for wildlife all the way to our journey’s end in Sitka.
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.