Wow! What a gorgeous day as we sailed southbound toward sunrise and the Gulf Islands. After a delicious breakfast we encountered several active humpback whales, giving us a fun treat glistening in the sunlight. The lounge was host to a riveting presentation on pinnipeds by naturalist Andy Putnam and a smartphone presentation by photo instructor Alex Rubenstein. However, the main event today was a lovely afternoon anchored at Wallace Island when guests disembarked the ship for a series of Zodiac tours, kayaking, and hiking options!
This island has a rich history as a former cottage resort hosted by David and Jeanne Conover after World War II and is now a beautifully maintained provincial marine park. Naturalist and photo instructor Alex Rubenstein took guests on a photo hike through stunning pacific madrone and douglas fir trees, photographing mushrooms, leaves, and the old cabins still intact from their resort days. Naturalists Andy Putnam and Sharon Grainger led some longer hikes searching for mushrooms and exploring Panther Point, where guests learned about the famed archaeological dive site of a sunken clipper, the Panther, that ran ashore at a shallow reef in 1874. Naturalists Jim Coyer, Shawn Lucas, and Leah Santini led other guests on Zodiac tours exploring the rich ecology and geology of the island. They spotted harbor seals, a slew of girds, and one boat even spotted a handful of tufted puffins!