Eating breakfast in the dining room of National Geographic Quest, there are often remarkable views, and this morning was no exception. Off the stern of the ship, we were treated to a stunning view of Kasnyku Falls, a beautiful cascading waterfall in picturesque Alaska. It’s hard to imagine Southeast Alaska as a temperate rainforest with all the sunshine we’ve been treated to this week, especially since once again the skies are blue, the sun is shining, and people are even out on deck in shorts!

Sailing into the nearby fjord system of Kelp Bay, we cruised up the waters of Middle Arm, where we dropped anchor for our morning activities of bushwhacking, a forest edge walk, kayaking, and a Zodiac cruise. To say Kelp Bay was a pretty spot to spend the day would be an understatement. The bushwhack traversed over and under logs, forging a path up to the three lakes above. The forest edge walk took us along the coast, where we encountered much evidence of bears in the area. Kayaking the bay, guests could peer into the water to see sea stars, barnacles, and mussels, all critters common to the intertidal zone. Zipping around in our Zodiacs for a cruise, we encountered a rare treat: six male Harlequin ducks resting at the water’s edge!

We spent the afternoon aboard ship cruising Chatham Strait, enjoying sunshine and searching for wildlife. We had a wonderful close encounter with a humpback whale that was coasting along the shore in the shallows, frequently fluking and surfacing. We couldn’t have asked for a better day in Southeast Alaska.