Our first full day in Southeast Alaska began with quite a magical start! As we cruised through the forested Sergius Narrows, we spotted a humpback whale bubble-net feeding in Peril Strait. Humpback whales spend all summer long feeding in Alaska, and we all spent the morning oohing and aahing as we enjoyed watching the whale use this unique feeding technique to catch herring. In the afternoon, we rode Zodiacs ashore to explore beautiful Ushk Bay. We wandered through a meadow sprinkled with wildflowers, crossed creeks in our muck boots, and began exploring the temperate rainforest. The typical Southeast Alaska rain showers rolled in as we ended our hikes, and we were happy to head back to National Geographic Venture for an evening of cocktails, dinner, and a presentation on the temperate rainforest we had just explored.
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.