Today we awoke to clear skies, light winds, and pleasant temperatures in Holkham Bay as the National Geographic Venture headed toward the Tracy Arm and Ford’s Terror Wilderness Area. Many guests spent time on the bow, enjoying the scenery, taking pictures, and learning about the fascinating geology of the region. As we proceeded up the deep fjord, our naturalists explained the landforms, including the U-shaped valleys visible from the water level, which we learned had been carved by glaciers. The tall peaks that tower thousands of feet above had plenty of snow still, and many cascades flowed down the steep granite cliffs. After a delicious lunch, our hardworking deck crew lowered our expedition landing craft while the bridge officers navigated the vessel between large icebergs of white and blue ice. On small boats, we cruised up the fjord near the face of South Sawyer Glacier, where we observed many harbor seals hauled out on ice. After a warm farewell address from our Expedition Leader Shawn, we cruised down the fjord in excellent light.
National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest arose amidst light clouds within the protected waters of Ushk Bay. This area is known for a salmon stream and yields plenty of opportunity for kayaking and exploring the vast meadows of its inner waterways. On this day’s occasion, guests were able to hike and paddle their way along the coast of Ushk Bay and witness firsthand the life cycle of Pacific salmon making their way upstream. As we transited through Peril Strait, we were lucky to see humpback whales. These immense mammals were “lunge feeding” very near our ship. Being able to witness this event was unique for guests and staff. Lunge feeding is process through which individual whales push their gaping mouths through the surface and collect any fish or planktonic invertebrates in the process. Witnessing this behavior was truly a remarkable experience for all. We will cherish this moment for a lifetime.