Chatham Strait and Pavlov Harbor

Sep 04, 2017 - National Geographic Sea Lion


Today we awoke excited for our first full day aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion. Throughout the morning we made our way through Chatham Strait. After a short introduction to the staff aboard, as well as a kayak briefing by Third Mate Chuck Brieant, the Naturalist Staff headed up to “the office” or the bow of the ship to search for whales.

Photography instructor David Spiegel also gave an “Introduction to Photography” lecture, where we learned about more advanced photography techniques specifically for wildlife. We immediately put these to use when naturalist Mike Greenfelder spotted a humpback whale breaching in the distance. We headed up to the bow and were left breathless as this humpback was either fin slapping or breaching. At one point, it breached seven times in a row before rolling and fin slapping. Finally after nearly an hour we left the whale as we saw it, rushing out from the surface only to crash down again in a spectacle.

From there we continued on to Pavlov Harbor which we reached at lunch. Soon after, our undersea team left off for the first dive of the trip thrilled about the possibilities of the sea life below. We then followed leaving in our own expedition landing crafts but in search of bears, and bears we found. At waterfall we watched as bears feasted on salmon determined to spawn. Mother and cubs were also present giving us a look at the special dynamic found between these animals. After being enamored by the bears for hours on both land and expedition landing crafts, we came back to the National Geographic Sea Lion for cocktails and were introduced to the ships officers followed by dinner.

After dinner undersea specialist, Kayvon Malek showcased the marine life encountered on the dive including giant pacific octopus, a wolf eel, and various fish life. 

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About the Author

Kayvon Malek

Undersea Specialist

In 2011 Kayvon’s life changed when he took his first breath underwater. After signing up for a SCUBA course on a whim while studying at the University of California, Santa Cruz he soon shifted his major and focus in life. He graduated in 2015 after studying Environmental Studies and Biology, focusing on marine conservation. By that time, he was an AAUS certified Scientific Diver aiding in field research, a NAUI Divemaster, and had begun working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium sharing the wonder of the ocean that captivated him four years prior.

About the Videographer

Sarah Culler

Video Chronicler

Sarah was raised on a multi-generational family dairy farm, established circa 1815 in Lucas, Ohio. Consequently, her first paying job was milking cows! Rewarding as it was to get paid for the first time, she found her passion behind the lens of a camera. Growing up on the farm gave her not only a strong work ethic but also the love of nature and being outdoors. 

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