We woke up anchored near the southern end of Wallace Island, a three-mile-long, half-mile-wide body of land in the Gulf Island archipelago. It was a beautiful, sunny, and calm day, perfect for hiking and kayaking, our chosen activities for the day. After lunch, we encountered a pod of orca whales. Some guests watched from the bow of the ship, and others watched from Zodiacs that followed the whales through Active Pass into the Strait of Georgia.
National Geographic Quest
Lake Eva and Peril Strait
After a morning that threatened rain, the clouds lifted just enough to see the top of the hills that surround Hanus Bay and the river that flows from Lake Eva. We landed on the beach as the tide rose, stepping gingerly over large fields of blue mussels and razor clams before finding the U.S. Forest Service trail that leads to the lake. Later in the summer, these waters are filled with returning pink, coho, and sockeye salmon, which feed not only the brown bears of Chichagof Island, but the forest as well. More than 70% of the nitrogen these trees need comes from the returning salmon as they are dragged through the woods by hungry bears, eagles, ravens, and scavengers. All too quickly, it was time to lift the anchor, and National Geographic Quest wound its way towards Peril Strait, Sitka, and the end of our two-week long adventure. A final beautiful evening on deck served as a perfect capstone to an unforgettable journey that began in the urban cities of Washington and British Columbia and has concluded amongst some of the wildest places left on Earth.