During the night, National Geographic Sea Lion traveled down Chatham Strait. We turned into Sitkoh Bay on the south side of Chichagof Island, where we ventured past a once-thriving salmon cannery. Along the shoreline, three Sitka blacktail deer and a coastal brown bear greeted us into this beautiful bay. Our morning activity was hiking through the temperate rainforest on an old logging road, where we marveled at the lush vegetation, large trees, abundant banana slugs, calling birds, and blooming wildflowers. There were indications that coastal brown bears were nearby, and those of us on the long bushwhack enjoyed a close look at a large brown bear.
In the afternoon, kayaking was our activity of choice. Many of us paddled around the bay as fish jumped and jellies pulsated nearby. A freshening wind and partly sunny weather sustained us, and all activities seemed like the perfect thing to do during our last full day aboard National Geographic Sea Lion. Later, we made our way into Sergius Narrows toward Sitka, our disembarkation port. During the dimming light in the narrow passageway, we all reflected on the wonderful experiences we shared together during this epic cruise in Southeast Alaska. Emotions flowed strongly as we bid this great land one last farewell—at least for now.