Today we woke up to our first sunny day in Southeast Alaska. We spent the morning exploring Pavlof Harbor, which is a great place for watching the salmon that just started running upstream in the Pavlof River. Some guests hiked to the waterfall for a relaxing morning on the tidelines, others paddled the harbor via kayak and stand-up paddleboard, while others toured the bay on Zodiac rides. After our action-packed morning, we headed out to Chatham Strait, where we cruised for wildlife, spotting harbor porpoises, seabirds, and humpback whales. We ended the day with cocktails on the bow and got one last showing of humpback whales that breached off the bow of National Geographic Venture as the golden hour began.
National Geographic Venture
Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park is the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit clans. Covering over three million acres of land, this striking environment lends itself well to discussions about primary succession, a characteristic of temperate rainforests and glaciation. National Geographic Venture started its day with hikes and photography instruction around Bartlett Cove. The ship’s naturalists discussed various aspects of primary succession and temperate rainforests while finding baneberry, fiddleheads, and morel mushrooms. The hikes ended with observing the preserved skeleton of a whale named Snow, a humpback whale killed by a ship strike in 2001. Once all crew and guests were on board, the ship ventured farther into Glacier Bay National Park. Along the way, we observed incredible sightings of humpback whales, Steller sea lions, sea otters, tufted puffins, bald eagles, and a variety of other animals. Farther north, we passed by Gloomy Knob where guests and staff spotted mountain goats whose white fur contrasted well with the dark rocky habitat. Finally, guests and staff celebrated the end of another magical day in Southeast Alaska with cocktail hour while viewing Margerie Glacier calving. The incredible landscape of Southeast Alaska, and particularly Glacier Bay, is an awe-inspiring world that lends itself to exploration and conservation.