The sun barely sets right now in Southeast Alaska, and quite a few people were on the bow of National Geographic Quest before 6:00 a.m. It is often said, the vigilant on the bow are rewarded, and before breakfast this morning, we saw a brown bear, a couple Sitka black tail deer, Dall’s porpoises, and humpback whales. After breakfast, we had several briefings, but we were interrupted by a group of humpback whales near the shore. In the afternoon, everyone had the opportunity to set foot in the Tongass National Rainforest for the first time. Guests went kayaking, and a few enjoyed a beach walk. It was a pretty amazing first day for our expedition.
National Geographic Quest
Ushk Bay and Peril Strait
National Geographic Quest arose amidst light clouds within the protected waters of Ushk Bay. This area is known for a salmon stream and yields plenty of opportunity for kayaking and exploring the vast meadows of its inner waterways. On this day’s occasion, guests were able to hike and paddle their way along the coast of Ushk Bay and witness firsthand the life cycle of Pacific salmon making their way upstream. As we transited through Peril Strait, we were lucky to see humpback whales. These immense mammals were “lunge feeding” very near our ship. Being able to witness this event was unique for guests and staff. Lunge feeding is process through which individual whales push their gaping mouths through the surface and collect any fish or planktonic invertebrates in the process. Witnessing this behavior was truly a remarkable experience for all. We will cherish this moment for a lifetime.