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Bako National Park: Sarawak

Bako National Park, established in 1957, is the oldest national park in Sarawak, eastern Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. It covers an area of 27.27 square kilometres (10.53 square miles) at the tip of the Muara Tebas Peninsula at the mouth of the Bako and Kuching Rivers. It is approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) by road from Kuching. Millions of years of erosion of the sandstone have created a coastline of steep cliffs, rocky headlands, and stretches of white, sandy bays. Wave erosion at the base of the cliffs has carved many of the rocky headlands into fantastically shaped sea arches and sea stacks with coloured patterns formed by iron deposition. Some of these rock formations can be seen on entry to the Teluk Assam Beach, which fronts the park. Bako is one of the smallest national parks in Sarawak, yet one of the most interesting, with multiple biomes (including rainforest), abundant wildlife, jungle streams and waterfalls, secluded beaches and trekking trails. Read More>

Sep 22, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Kuching: Sarawak

More than 150 years ago, Sarawak was essentially Kuching. Kuching was known as Sarawak first, then the word Proper was added to Sarawak, thus Sarawak Proper. This was done to distinguish it from the larger Sarawak which, in 1841, consisted of only the area between Tanjung Datu and the Samarahan River. On August 12, 1872, Sarawak Proper was given its present name, Kuching, under the rule of the second Rajah of Sarawak, Charles Brooke. Kuching was named after a tidal stream called Kuching River (Sungai Kuching) that ran between the present-day Tua Pek Kong Temple and the Chinese History Museum. Read More>

Sep 21, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Cruising Gulf Islands, British Columbia, Canada, and San Juan Islands, Washington State, U.S.A.

The sun rose through a gap in the cloud layer over the port city of Vancouver, British Columbia as National Geographic Sea Lion cruised south in Georgia Strait. We maneuvered through Active Pass, which was alive with bird activity and harbor seals seeking food in the swirling waters. The sky cleared as we made our way among the Gulf Islands and then crossed the international border between Canada and the United States.  On the west side of San Juan Island we had the good fortune of finding some killer whales (orcas). Read More>

Sep 20, 2014 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Alert Bay, British Columbia

Sunrise this morning found National Geographic Sea Lion entering an inlet off of Cormorant Island; moving slowly in the fog, the “underway” fog horn sounded from the Alert Bay ferry as the two ships passed port to port. Sea Lion continued, slowly on approach to the government dock at the south end of the small community of Alert Bay. As soon as our ship was secured to the dock and the main gangway was lowered, a small band of intrepid photographers disembarked, making their way to the Namgis burial grounds located just across the street from the dock. The fog and mists of the morning curled around memorial poles, hillsides and the waterfront of Alert Bay, creating magical early morning fall light for all! Photographers took every advantage, pointing in all directions seeking just the right point to capture an image and express a moment seen, as the light changed dramatically second by second.   Sea Lion was docked about one mile from our first stop of the morning. Read More>

Sep 19, 2014 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Near San Juan Island

Welcome the sunny south! Our last day underway was spent in the rain-shadowed lands of the Gulf and San Juan Islands. Since Vancouver Island and the Olympic Range are cloud-catchers, this is the driest part of the Northwest Coast. At least in theory. Our day began with scattered showers. Yet as we reached American waters, the sky brightened. We made our way along the west side of San Juan Island, eventually reaching Lime Kiln Lighthouse. Read More>

Sep 19, 2014 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Pulau Lintang

With such a magnificent backdrop and setting it would be almost criminal to have to leave so soon and thankfully the galley was able to bring the fine dining of the ship right to the shore via a delicious beach barbeque. And while it is a deserted island, such a top-notch hotel team would never desert your dessert, there was even ice cream. Now fully sated, and perhaps slightly more buoyant, there was more snorkeling and for some there was no need to stray far to see fish. A small aggregation of juvenile cardinal fish played in the shadows of those in the shallows.  Having just left Singapore yesterday afternoon and to arrive at the island archipelago of Pulau Lintang could not show you two more different sides of a coin. Read More>

Sep 19, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Genovesa Island

In the early hours of the day we arrived at Darwin Bay, located on Genovesa Island. This bay is a large caldera and one out of two that we find on this extinct volcano. Our day started with a pre-breakfast kayak outing along the cliffs of Darwin Bay that allowed us to observe and listen to the sounds of the thousands of birds that exist here. After breakfast, and with some of our guests, we landed on Darwin Bay and went onto Prince Phillip’s Steps. Read More>

Sep 19, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

The Inside Passage of British Columbia

During the night we crossed back across Hecate Strait, outrunning an approaching storm, back into the tranquil waters of the Inside Passage. Morning found us along the edge of Gribble Island, banked in layers of fog and the occasional squall of rain. We passed a pair of swimming deer, making their way slowly across the mile of water to the next island. Through the growing wind and mist we continued south, searching the coastline for wildlife. Read More>

Sep 18, 2014 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Alert Bay, British Columbia

I am cheating a little here because my Daily Expedition Report really starts last night after dinner. Last night in the still dark night air a small band of us gathered on sundeck to practice making images in low-light situations. The idea was to prepare us for photographing the incredible dancers of the Namgis tribe in Alert Bay. The T’sasala Cultural Group would be performing in a traditional big house and the light would be filtering in from a large vent in the center of the building. It was a great time complete with music and dance models to help us get ready for today’s activities. It was nice to have the time to laugh at our antics because today’s experience given to us by the T’sasala Group was nothing to laugh about; it was quite moving and inspirational. Before the dancers however we visited the U’Mista Cultural Center. Read More>

Sep 18, 2014 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Bartolome & Sombrero Chino Islands

Even though we are now in the middle of the cool, dry season, we have been enjoying some magnificent weather this week! Today we got a sunny day and took advantage! We woke up and left to climb the summit of the old parasitic volcano that forms Bartolomé Island.  At 6:30 a. Read More>

Sep 18, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

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Please note: All Daily Expedition Reports (DER's) are posted Monday-Friday, during normal business hours.