From the National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska
May 23, 2012 - National Geographic Sea Lion
Inian and George Islands, Alaska
Today was a wet delight during our trip throughout the Inian Islands followed by activities at zebra stoned, George Island. The morning started with a short visit to Icy Strait for a beautiful sunrise. It was a misty, damp morning and yet full of gorgeous views from the aft deck during our full stretch class. After breakfast, we all geared up for our Zodiac excursions to the Inian Islands, a name dubbed for the British battle by William H. Dall in the 19th century. During our rain kissed adventure, we spotted Steller’s Sea Lions feasting in the teal waters along the open channel. Here the tides and currents were stirring up nutrient rich food for fish and wildlife that were targeted by the sea lions and gulls. The tumultuous waves, currents, and whirl pools churned as the wildlife grasped the fish and octopus victims. They used their strong jaws by whipping their heads around and tearing pieces off before gulping them down after a few grinding chews. The bird life was visibly strong with appearances by bald eagles, tufted puffins, pigeon guillemots, and pelagic cormorants. Also, we had an instrumental coronet lesson by Alberto Montaudon while observing bull and ribbon kelp.
The afternoon brought more excitement with our time at George Island. Hikers went in search of history, while ambitious kayakers paddled around the arch. The brave undersea specialist, Carlos Navarro, gathered footage of the colorfully exotic ocean creatures. Some included sea stars in bright pinks and reds, yellow anemones, kelp, sculpin and greenlings fish. We were able to view all of them in action as amazing footage during evening recap. Following dinner, we trailed humpback whales as the shy sun set. The last visions of light were the calming waters and the backdrop of snowcapped mountains.