Just before sunrise the National Geographic Venture positioned in Teakerne Arm inside Desolation Sound. A Zodiac was lowered about 45 minutes before sunrise. A small group of staff were going a shore to look at a brand-new landing! Many of our sites in Desolation Sound have been visited via recon in 2019, though we on the Venture would be the first visiting Lindblad ship!


After a short scramble up a steep entry on land, our moderate hikers group headed toward a lake that feeds into Cassel Falls. For those interested in a “stationary hike,” chairs were pulled around our Cultural Interpreter and Naturalist Sharon Grainger, who spent an hour and half sharing tales of the Indigenous peoples and their relationship to the forest and the sea. From tiny lichen to Western red cedars and Douglas firs, from the rocks to the sea, Sharon wove all these natural resources into a story of the land and its people, who for thousands of years honored these gifts from nature and used them for a wonderful life!


Once the stories were finished, all groups made their way back down to the trail head and small dock and waiting Zodiacs. Some groups went hiking or kayaking. A small group headed out onto the waters of Teakerne Arm for a Zodiac tour.


Starting at the waterfall, our Zodiac cruised up to the face of the falls with a small amount of water descending into salt water. This area of the Pacific Northwest has not had rain for nearly four months! Our Zodiac then began a slow cruise out towards the entrance of the arm. Our driver had spotted what turned out to be a local oyster farm. Asking as politely as possible we approached Jeff and asked if he wouldn’t mind sharing a little about his life as an oyster farmer. He was more than happy to do so and brought up many stories about his life and his third season as an oyster farmer on his tiny farm. We got to see all kinds of sea life living on the baskets that held his oysters and much to our joy he started sharing all the sightings of marine mammals in the area. As he spoke, the water was filled with thousands and thousands of sand lance. This is a very important prey fish for many marine mammals, such as humpback whales, harbor seals, Dall’s porpoise, just to name a few.


Following another old Lindblad tradition, the ship’s crew brought some supplies to our new friend, Jeff. Our kindness was suddenly rewarded by the sight of Dall’s porpoises surrounding the Zodiac! It all happened so fast, cameras could not be lifted in time … just keeping the memory in our mind and heart was delightful!


Back on the Venture, we enjoyed a lovely lunch as our Bridge officers began our journey south, heading toward tomorrow’s destination in Victoria, British Columbia. In calm seas we maintained a watch for marine mammals from the bow of the ship. We were rewarded with nice sightings of humpback whales and a haul out of Steller sea lions. Our day finished with cocktails on the bridge deck as we shared stories of our day in this extraordinary place called the Pacific Northwest Coast.