There was a distinct difference from where we’ve been over the past week to where we were today. Gone are the western hemlocks and Sitka spruce, enter the Pacific madrone and Douglas fir. Even the geology has changed from glacial erratics and towering granite cliffs to the scoops and waves of Chuckanut sandstone. The moss went from soft and spongy to the touch to crunchy. We’ve clearly entered a more arid part of the Pacific Northwest.

We cruised through Porlier Pass and around Trincomali Channel, where we saw plentiful seals, harbor porpoises, and gulls. Once we anchored and disembarked, our guests appreciated the chance to finally walk without muck boots and rain gear. Since Wallace Island has no bear activity, guests were able to explore on their own if they so desired. A few guests braved a much warmer swim in the tranquil waters before we returned to National Geographic Quest for a calm evening of searching for wildlife in Active Pass and the Strait of Georgia.