This morning we woke to a true Southeast Alaskan day with grey overcast skies and drizzle. We anchored in Port Althorp where some guests began their day by kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding within the glacially carved fjord.
With low tide going out, it exposed the abundant intertidal zone. Guests explored the marsh area where an old logging raft now lay in ruin in the muck. Perennial bear tracks were observed, and we learned that they are tracks the bears use year after year, marking their path by scent glands found in their hind feet to tell other bears that this area is theirs. We followed the tracks until they disappeared into the forest.
We stopped to smell the chocolate lily, which has a very strong scent to attract flies for pollination. We also learned about their rice roots, which are edible and fibrous. Some guests enjoyed Zodiac cruises up the bay and observed leather sea stars, lion’s mane jellies, and sea otters.
Later in the evening, we were lucky to come across five Dall’s porpoises that rode the ship’s bow for over twenty minutes! It was an exceptional day in Port Althorp and cruising Icy Strait.