Misty Fjords National Monument

Jun 17, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

Wow! Another sunny day! It was actually hot sitting on the bow looking for wildlife this afternoon! The final day of our expedition was truly wonderful. We woke up near a very interesting geologic formation, a volcanic plug rising from the middle of a deep channel. We spent the day in Rudyerd Bay, a stunning arm of the fjord with vertical cliffs, lush meadows, and wildflowers. Kayakers boarded the kayaks from the ship's fantail and paddled on pristine quiet waters. Pure blue skies arched overhead, pigeon guillemots winged low on the water, and a mother bear and cub strolled through the meadow. Expedition landing crafts headed out for tours, stopping to check out a variety of wildflowers like red columbine and carnivorous butterworts. We stopped beneath the "owl face" which gives Owl Pass its name. This is a narrow constricted area with a sheer cliff and a couple of large rockfall zones which appear as eyes on the cliffs. The expedition landing crafts paused beneath towering waterfalls pouring from the snowpack above, and visited a massive pile of snow with a huge tunnel melted in the center. The kids had a chance to drive the expedition landing crafts with one of our officers and returned to the ship with massive smiles.

In the afternoon, we cruised out of Rudyerd Bay and explored the area. We found a logging (sleeping) humpback whale gently coming to the surface to breath and saw many, many marbled murrelets hurtling over the water. Their piercing keer echoed over the waves. Folks relaxing on the bow managed to get sunburns before we came inside to watch dive footage from our undersea specialist and the guest slideshow. It was a spectacular day to end our expedition together!

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About the Author

Emily Mount

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Emily grew up in Boulder, Colorado and Pullman, Washington. Her love of nature began as a child during family vacations spent hiking, camping and exploring the mountains and deserts of the west. In contrast to her outdoors interests, Emily pursued an intensive young career as a classical violinist, culminating in degrees in history and music performance at the University of Washington.

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