Peril Strait & Lake Eva

May 28, 2018 - National Geographic Quest

Setting off from our embarkation port of Sitka, National Geographic Quest continued sailing north along Baranof Island for our first day of exploring Alaska’s coastal wilderness. Our morning was spent passing through the calm waters and mystical scenery of Peril Strait, our gateway to the Inside Passage. Approaching the east side of Chichagof Island after lunch, we settled in the protection of Hanus Bay, where we made our way ashore for our introduction to the largest temperate rainforest in the world.

Exploratory hikes to become acquainted with this unique environment were guided by the natural history staff, while others ventured by kayak in the waters where a small river descends to the sea from Lake Eva. Meanwhile, our undersea team explored the surrounding underwater world. Diving into refreshing waters of 5C/41F, we discovered an unsuspecting smorgasbord of weird and wonderful marine life. From small jellies aggregating in the green water column, to the brightly colored sea stars and sea cucumbers, each organism has its own special adaptations to survive and thrive in this coastal sub-Arctic ecosystem.

After a day blessed with the classic rainy, misty conditions that make Southeast Alaska a lush temperate wonderland, we continued towards the Inside Passage, prepared for the upcoming encounters of our journey. 

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About the Author

Maya Santangelo

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Maya was born and raised in Southern California, where her curiosity for the natural world was encouraged from an early age. Relocating to Sydney, Australia with her family at 11 years old, she learned to scuba dive, eventually becoming a PADI Instructor. Her fascination for the underwater world undoubtedly fueled her interest to study marine biology at James Cook University. Working as a professional guide in some of the world’s top dive destinations, including Palau and Mexico’s Guadalupe Island and Revillagigedo Archipelago, Maya realized a passion for sharing her love for the ocean with others, and the value of citizen science in the dive industry.

About the Photographer

Maya Santangelo & Paul North

Maya Santangelo & Paul North

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