We had one whale of a day onboard National Geographic Sea Lion. Nothing could surpass the 360ﹾ views of humpback whales spouting and lunge feeding throughout the day. Early in the morning, Captain Nettles spotted some spouts in the distance and what looked like a lot of commotion on the surface of the water. National Geographic Sea Lion headed over and was able to view a group of humpback whales bubble-net feeding! Moving away to continue our adventure, we cruised to Pavlof Harbor for some kayaking and hiking. After the afternoon activities, we witnessed an opportunity of a lifetime…again! Two groups of humpback whales were bubble-net feeding. While the adults were busy feasting, a curious juvenile swam up to the bow of the vessel, giving everyone a nice look at their rostrum. After pulling away, we could see the juvenile breaching again and again as the adults nearby continued to bubble-net feed.
National Geographic Sea Bird
Exploring Tracy Arm
It seems so sudden that we already are on our fourth full day cruising the intricate channels, straits, and fjords of Southeast Alaska. We began with an early morning crossing of the bar in Holkham Bay, not a local juke joint, but rather the end moraine at the mouth of the fjords, a pile of glacial till left by the massive glaciers which long ago carved the over deepened valleys comprising Tracy and Endicott Arms. Protected as a wilderness area in the Tongass National Forest, Tracy Arm is a fjord which carried us for miles into the Coast Range mountains, far closer to the Canadian border than we are to the open Pacific Ocean. The presence of a tidewater glacier was evident as we navigated through icebergs, bergey bits, and growlers—ice shed recently by the South Sawyer Glacier. Incredible landscapes were capped by incredible wildlife as we turned the day into evening while cruising down bay, back across the bar, and out into Stephens Passage. Such a quick trip over the last few days, but the fresh sights, wild landscapes, and abundant wildlife filled our time until late evening as we finally turned north towards our final port of call in Juneau. Our shared experience has brought us together as old and new friends, sharing the spirit of exploration and personal discovery.