Behm Canal and Rudeyard Bay

May 07, 2018 - National Geographic Quest


This morning we woke up at the entrance of Behm Canal in Misty Fjords National Monument after a smooth ride across the Dixon Passage. Another incredible bluebird day welcomed us to the great state of Alaska. After clearing customs during breakfast we continued on our way down the 100 mile long Behm Canal in the company of humpbacks and Dall porpoise. Passing by Eddystone Rock we learned that this unique geologic feature in the middle of the fiord is the remnant of a volcano that erupted 6 million years ago. The steep precipice of an island is a plug of hardened lava that occupies the former vent through which the magma poured. When George Vancouver sailed though this area he named it Eddystone Rock after the resemblance of a lighthouse in Eddystone Channel, England.

Further down the fjord we explored Rudeyard Bay and were not disappointed with the tall walls of glacially carved granite. We spotted our first mountain goats of the voyage perfectly poised by the edge of a waterfall. After lunch we explored the fjord by zodiac or kayak and were pretty blown away by the incredible scenery and sunny day. Misty Fjords is one of 19 wilderness areas within the Tongass, our nation’s largest national forest.  Created by Jimmy Carter in 1978 and referred to as the Yosemite of the north it is clearly one of the crown jewels of Southeast, Alaska. Receiving 160” of rain annually it is a part of the largest intact coastal rainforest in the United States and we felt so blessed to be able to experience it under sunny skies.

The icing on the cake after dinner was the mammal everybody wants to see, the largest member of the dolphin family Orcinus orca, the “demon from hell”. Orcas are matrilineal and share strong social bonds and a complex social structure. Averaging about 25’ in length and weighing 4-8 tons this group of 7 was incredibly cooperative and allowed us to spend an hour with them. Dropping the hydrophone in the water we could hear some of their complex chatter. But another incredible day in this beautiful corner of Alaska…

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About the Author

Elise Lockton

Naturalist

Elise’s passion for travel and interpretation is evident when you learn about the places she has chosen to live, work and travel. A degree in environmental studies introduced her to the world of interpreting nature, which has evolved into both a passion and profession.

About the Videographer

Ross Weinberg

Video Chronicler

Born in Hollywood with a camera in his hand, Ross is a Los Angeles-based documentary filmmaker and photographer who is inspired by a good cause and strives to raise awareness wherever he can through his pictures and films.

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