George and Inian Islands

Jun 01, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Lion


As we near the end of our expedition here in Southeast Alaska the weather and wildlife gods were once again in our favor. Today’s explorations and experiences focused on the rich and productive interface between the protected waters of The Inside Passage and the Gulf of Alaska. Our morning spent on George Island, which during World War II served as a defensive outpost guarding the northern entrance of The Inside Passage with a 6” artillery emplacement, now reclaimed by the temperate rain forest. Kayaks, and a single paddle board were deployed to enjoy the beautifully sunny and calm conditions, while others explored on foot taking in the sights and sounds of the forest and intertidal regions here.

Later in the afternoon we visited The Inian Islands, situated a bit north and serving as a semi permeable barrier at the entrance to the Inside Passage. It is here where we would experience the incredible power and influence the ever-changing tides have on this region by Zodiac. Hundreds of Steller sea lions, dozens of sea otters, scores of American bald eagles and countless numbers of seabirds gather to feed on the riches churned up from the flooding tidal currents. All around us was a frenzy of activity, with the main attraction being that of the sea lions gorging themselves on halibut, paddock, and salmon brought to the surface to feed. To top it all off the towering snow and ice-capped peaks of the Fairweather Range in the distance were visible all day and we were surrounded by the wild beauty of this magnificent place.

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About the Author

Doug Gualtieri

Naturalist

Doug’s passion for the natural world started at an early age in his home state of Michigan. He received two biology degrees from Central Michigan University, and later went on to get a master’s degree in conservation biology. His education led him to study a diverse range of natural sciences, with an emphasis on ecology, animal behavior, and migratory birds. Shortly after leaving the academic world, Doug migrated north to Alaska with his trusty Siberian husky, Koda. He began working as a naturalist in Denali National Park in 1999. For over seven years he has shared his love of Alaska and Denali’s six million acres with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic guests, as trip leader for the Denali Land Extension based at the North Face Lodge deep within the park.

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