We awoke at the Inian Islands, known as Eey X’e, or “Mouth of Tidal Rapids,” in the Tlingit language. Located north of Chichagof Island, this site is known far and wide for its abundance of life. Our morning Zodiac tours went down in our voyage’s history as one of the best adventures yet, with a whopping 24 bald eagles, rafts of frolicking Steller sea lions, frisky sea otters, fragrant seabird rookeries, canoodling river otters, stealthy killer whales, and three humpback whales surfacing side by side against the shoreline. Today we celebrated the biodiversity of Southeast Alaska in all its unique flavors and sounds.

Afternoon hikes took place on George Island, situated in Granite Cove. Guests had the choice of several hikes, all of which traversed vibrant green trails sprinkled with fiddleheads, banana slugs, mammal scat, and the ethereal song of the Pacific wren. Many guests paddled turquoise waters in a gentle mist, while geologically inclined folks tickled their fancy by gazing at a monolith of a rock standing regal on a beach, and history buffs contemplated an 18-ton gun emplacement at the end of the trail. Bald eagles cackled. Pigeon guillemots squeaked. Life continued to enamor us the whole live-long day.

Our day closed with a boisterous recap on the conservation history of sea otters, the importance of plankton, the beauty in a wren song, and the life histories of our Zodiacs. With the trip winding down, we are reminding each other to bask in the serenity of ship life. We have one more day. We’ll make it count.