Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Sep 10, 2017 - National Geographic Sea Lion

Our expedition has today brought us into foreign waters. While checking in through customs, we find conditions ideal to explore the local culture of this port town. For many that means a trip to a cafe to explore donuts and Wi-Fi! For most others, it is a chance to discover a few highlights of the indigenous Tsimshian culture at the well-curated Museum of Northern British Columbia. Our expert docent guides us in the examination of the art and architecture of this coastal community. We learn about the cedar tree, which played a central role in the construction of traditional long houses, story poles, Chilkat blankets and bentwood boxes. We come to understand a little more about customs and cultural traditions, such as the presentation of wealth at potlatch gatherings, the organization of family groups, and preparation of seasonal foods. Which suddenly reminds us- lunch awaits back aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion!

Once again upon our vessel, we cruised the misty waters of the British Columbia Inside Passage. The afternoon is spent stretching our mental muscles with enlightening and engaging chats on climate and kelp forests, presented by the ship’s naturalists. The open dialogs continues while enjoying the evening’s bountiful offering of hors d’ oeuvres and drinks, prepared by the Head Chef and his team in the galley!

With rough weather on open water, evening finds us in the sheltered bay called Captain’s Cove. Our photo experts guide us in an overview on using onboard photo kiosks to review and share our favorite images with fellow passengers and staff. We are then briefed by National Geographic photographer Krista Rossow on proper etiquette when photographing people, in preparation for our visit to Haida Gwaii over the next few days. Another exquisite day in the Pacific Northwest behind us, the ship sets course across Hecate Strait, and another amazing week.

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About the Author

Sarah Keefer


Sarah’s fondest memories of nature are experiences she’s shared with friends—especially when those experiences involve spotting wildlife from the bow of a ship! She’s captivated by the wonders of the natural world, and it was the lure of expansive wilderness and exotic destinations that inspired her to study wildlife biology at both the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Hawai’i Honolulu. Sarah was first partial to mammalian studies, and it wasn’t until her first season as a field naturalist in Southeast Alaska that she began to truly appreciate watching birds and what they could teach us about patience, integrity, and hope.

About the Photographer

David Spiegel

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

David grew up in the Seattle area, where he fell in love with nature through outdoor sports in the Pacific Northwest. He first picked up a camera during a 14-day Grand Canyon river trip at the age of 18. Little did he know that his hobby would morph into a lifelong passion and career. He moved to Colorado to pursue a degree in International Political Economy from Colorado College. After receiving his degree, he applied his passion for media to documenting watershed conservation issues in the Colorado River Basin states through the lens of a 900-mile-long river expedition in 2012.

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