Slowly making our way into the harbor of Petersburg, we saw many birds flying around us, familiar one such as bald eagles and great blue heron and some that are new to us this week such as the Bonaparte gull and mew gull. The tide was low, exposing the shore and the many homes on stilts doting the coastline were sitting high and dry. A true Southeast Alaskan day, we had low cloud coverage and intermitted rain showers, making the town feel even more charming. Hikes across the waterway through the muskeg introduced us to this unique bog ecosystem and including the smallest carnivores’ plant, the sundew. Others explored the perimeter of town on a fantastic led bike ride, before joining a zodiac for a cruise through the fishing port exploring the heart of Petersburg; after all, it is “the town that fish built.”
National Geographic Quest
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.