Chichagof Island, Pavlof Harbor, Alaska

Jul 09, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

It seems the best-laid plans can be changed by wildlife—and how fortunate is that? This morning we thought we were going to have breakfast at 7:30 a.m., but about eight humpback whales had the same idea. From the deck of the National Geographic Sea Bird, we watched in awe and delight as the whales corralled their breakfast with bubbles, then took giant mouthfuls of water and herring.  

In the afternoon, we moved on to Pavlof Harbor on Chichagof Island. A lone brown bear on the shore derailed our plans to hike from that beach. We found an alternate trail, laid out our kayaks, and explored. Wildlife was plentiful. We spotted harbor seals draped over rocks and a humpback whale slowly cruising inside Freshwater Bay. Marbled murrelets whistled at our boats, ravens croaked from treetops, and crows patrolled the intertidal zone for edible morsels. Bald eagles stood still as statues, surveying the landscape from numerous spruce tops.

As we wrapped up our afternoon shoreside activities, our plan-altering bear once again popped out of the forest and slowly strolled along, grazing as it made its way to the beachfront. It was an amazing start to our explorations of Southeast Alaska and a great day to consider deviating from the best-laid plans. 

  • Send

About the Author

Linda Burback

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Linda and her Air Force family moved extensively throughout the U.S. when she was a child. Linda continues to travel and explore a broader spectrum of the world as a naturalist with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. Linda earned her B.Sc. in horticulture from the University of Arizona in 1985 and worked with this degree in the commercial cactus industry for sixteen years.

About the Videographer

Mark Coger

Video Chronicler

Growing up in a military family, Mark Coger has been traveling most of his life.  While living in Japan, he developed his passion for videography.  He began his venture in the field of video production by filming numerous events for a local high school and the military community before moving to Southern California, where he obtained his degree in filmmaking at California State University Northridge.  From there, he went on to produce and direct his first major short film, An American Journalist which was screened at the Method Film Festival.

Get our newsletter

Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.

Privacy Policy