National Geographic Sea Bird’s morning anchorage within Neka Bay was entirely new to all staff and a majority of the crew. This was a true expedition in every sense of the word - an exploration of a place not explored regularly and discovering what it has to offer. From the time our high-topped boots hit the water, discovery was everywhere. The intertidal was dotted with a constellation of sea stars, Dungeness crabs hiding in the algae, and barnacles sealed tight to stave off the heat of low tide. Our trek to the forest was exploratory in and of itself.

Our naturalists had the pleasure of leading an exploratory bushwhack through the temperate rainforest. From the moment we pressed in past the Sitka alder, we had smiles plastered to our faces. The forest was alive with the sights and sounds of Southeast Alaska - robins and kinglets crooning their tune to accompany the rustle of the wind against the cottonwood trees, carrying their sweet aroma to our noses. On all fours we climbed over boulders, under rocks, and through ravines. We summited the highest point on the peninsula and took in the sweeping panoramic views before beginning our descent.

The afternoon was a delightful combination of relaxation and excitement. Many opted to kayak, safely observing bald eagles on the wing and a pair of humpback whales. Wellness specialist Lola McQueen was hard at work conducting massages while drinks flowed in the lounge for those waiting their turn to get in the water.

Pavlof Harbor, a favorite among the natural history staff.