Bright blue skies and snowcapped peaks greeted us as we poured our morning coffee and stepped outside. This is what we had been waiting for.

We left Sitka in the very early morning and rose to the slim passages of Sergius Narrows and Peril Strait. Eagles perched in treetops watched us sail by. Out came our cameras as we attempted to capture the beauty around us.

This afternoon, we went hiking in the rainforest along a trail to Lake Eva. Lining the trails, skunk cabbage showed its yellow leaves like brilliant lanterns. Many of these plants have been meals for bears, and only the chewed, green leaves remain.

Our destination at the lake provided views of sparkling water through the forest. While walking along the trail, Sitka spruce trees and massive hemlocks gave a us an idea of what old growth forests look like.

While we were enjoying the warmth of the forest, the tide went out. We returned to the beach for another little walk to the Zodiac that was waiting to carry us home to our ship, National Geographic Venture.