Inian Islands & Port Althorp

Jun 30, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

The National Geographic Sea Bird dropped anchor in the lee of a small island; part of the Inian group located in Cross Sound south of Glacier Bay National Park. The anchorage provided some protection but we still felt the motion of the larger swells from the open Pacific nearby. This area is a key outlet to the ocean for ships that travel the Inside Passage and it also provides a pass through which the ebb and flow of tidal currents must squeeze in order to flush the thousands of fjords and minor inlets that exist within the area. This flow is critical to the wildlife, especially salmon who re-enter the area through this narrow gap. Awaiting the fish are hungry Steller sea lions who capture and devour them as they pass. We observed hundreds of these large pinnipeds lying on rocks or swimming nearby as we motored past in our expedition landing craft.

After our morning operations and lunch, we pulled the hook and sailed to Port Althorp, an inlet on the north end of Chichagof Island. Here, we set off for our afternoon adventures on land and in the water. Some hiked deep into the rain forest along a salmon stream. Others took a more casual stroll along the shore observing bear and deer tracks within the intertidal mud. Guests had an opportunity to kayak too, and for those seeking a more challenging assignment there were stand-up paddleboards. Quite a few took up the challenge and paddled in the quiet water while a light rain fell from the Alaskan sky.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Grover


Jeff's early introduction to the science of geology came from exposure to his grandfather’s extensive mineral collection and his vivid stories of work in the mines of Aspen Colorado.  From this informal beginning, Jeff earned degrees in geology from the University of Southern California (B.S.) and the University of Arizona (M.S.) where he focused on tectonics and structural geology.  Upon graduation, he worked as a petroleum geologist, and as an engineering geologist engaged in landslide and earthquake hazard mitigation.  He is licensed as a registered geologist in California.

About the Photographer

James Hyde


James is your typical free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsy type. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he is most comfortable in slightly cold and damp weather. James joined the Lindblad team in July 2016 as a dive buddy and has been in love with expedition travel since. On his own he has traveled to Europe, Asia, and Australia, but with Lindblad he hopes to continue his adventures across the globe, searching out the beauties of the natural world. An avid scuba diver James can’t help being excited about whales, sharks, and pinnipeds, but he will also happily bend your ear about underwater slugs and invertebrates. It’s best just to humor him about these things.

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