We awoke to see the edges of Sitkoh Bay gliding by as we looked out the portholes. It was another beautiful blue-sky day in Southeast Alaska. We anchored 12 miles in at the very end of the bay, where the seawater blends into the grassy marsh as streams and smaller rivers contribute freshwater from above. Once ashore, we hiked along the forest path deep into the alder, hemlock, and spruce. Banana slugs were out and about in great numbers and made for some excellent photography subjects. Back on the bay, the wind was very light and perfect for kayaking to explore the water’s edge. A brave few decided to try the stand-up paddleboards for a view from higher above the water line.

Back aboard for lunch and refreshments, we had time to relax and recall the morning’s discoveries. The rest of the afternoon was a tranquil passage through Chatham Strait. We stopped at Kasnyku Falls and then cruised into Frederick Sound. We joined staff in the lounge for more presentations on bears and cetaceans, giving us a deeper understanding into the creatures we’ve seen during our travels.

The real excitement surfaced just as we sat down to a dinner of crispy crab cakes, savory lamb shank, and decadent coconut curry: killer whales were spotted off the bow! As we approached the pod, their tall dorsal fins were silhouetted in the sunset. They looked back at the ship with a spyhop before diving down and disappearing. Luckily, the galley kept our dinner warm and we continued the evening deliciously.