During the night, the National Geographic Sea Bird arrived in Thomas Bay and quietly anchored. Thomas Bay is well known for an outstanding forest service trail along Cascade Creek and a remote forest service cabin along the shoreline.
After breakfast, we boarded Zodiacs to the beach and began hikes of various lengths. We were all allowed good views of the main waterfall, passing through beautiful, lush temperate rainforest along the way. Highlights of the trip included up-close views of the forest floor vegetation, lots of mud, blooming wildflowers, igneous dikes cutting through the metamorphic rocks, and white-water spray.
In the afternoon, Zodiac cruises and kayaking/paddleboarding were the activities of the afternoon. Even though many of us got really wet, we all had a fantastic experience. Back on board, hot toddies were served, and the National Geographic Sea Bird headed north into Frederick Sound in search of wildlife.
After dinner, we cruised to the north of Frederick Sound to The Brothers rocks in Stephens Passage, where we discovered more humpback whales, including one individual that was performing multiple breaches, which is when a whale throws its body completely out of the water. It was spectacular to see the big splash it made on re-entry! At one point, the ship was surrounded by spouting and fluking humpback whales.
As the sun slowly set behind the cloud cover, it caused the clouds above us to turn a crimson color as the light gradually faded in the way it often does in Southeast Alaska. All in all, it was a perfect ending to a magical Alaskan day.