Dundas Bay & Inian Islands, Alaska

Jun 26, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

This was an epic day in Alaska! We awoke at anchor in Dundas Bay, on the southern end of Glacier Bay National Park. Beautiful reflections welcomed the day, with islands and low mountains all around. After breakfast, we zipped ashore on our expedition landing crafts. There were several different hike options available from different locations. One hike involved bushwhacking up a ridge through the forest and returning to the beach for wildlife track exploration. Hikers on another route explored a mudflat, following the tracks of gigantic brown bears, wolves, river otters, and moose. Photographers shot a huge diversity of wildflowers in full bloom, and other groups of hikers trekked along the shoreline, into the forest, and out into a boggy meadow. Some of today’s especially cool plant sightings included carnivorous sundews, bog orchids, pink pyrola, and huge stands of wild iris. After donating a lot of blood to the local mosquito population, we returned to the ship.

During lunch, we moved to an anchorage at the Inian islands, a beautiful set of wilderness islands at the mouth of Cross Sound. We journeyed by expedition landing craft around the islands as the current changed, providing us with an exciting ride through waves. Marine wildlife flocks to this area to feed, and we were not disappointed. A humpback whale circled the area, and a large group of sea otters napped in a bed of kelp. Two of the otters had baby pups on their bellies, and we occasionally heard the pups cry “meep’ to their mothers. The photographers loved it! There were also gobs of sea lions lying on rocks, growling at one another and stinking of digesting fish. One group of sea lions played among the expedition landing crafts, coming surprisingly close to eye us with open jaws. We saw a couple of bald eagle nests with white heads glowering down upon us, pelagic cormorants carrying building materials to their cliff nests, and a peregrine falcon trying to knock a cormorant out of the sky. There were even a few tufted puffins hanging around. All in all, it was yet another excellent day on our Alaska expedition!

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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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