Port Althorp and Inian Islands, Alaska

Jul 10, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

A classic Alaskan morning led to a classic Alaskan landing at Port Althorp on Baranof Island, Southeast Alaska. After a hearty breakfast, we left for a two-and-a-half-hour hike. Shorter walks followed, and we explored the animal paths, tracks, and trails left behind by the full-time residents of Port Althorp. Once home to a salmon cannery and a Naval Auxiliary station, the area is returning to its wild roots. The only signs of human industry that remain are the few log barges—covered with slow-growing new plants—resting on the beach.

During a sumptuous lunch, our crew charted a course to the legendary Inian Islands—a hot spot for wildlife due to the incoming Pacific waters that carry nutrients and an abundance of food into Icy Strait. We watched Steller sea lions haul-out onto the rocks and growl at each other over the best napping positions. Sea otters bobbed in the surf, looking on as bald eagles swarmed to grab up the fish bits left behind by the pinnipeds. An epic few hours of small-boat cruising and photography ensued. 

A young National Geographic Global Explorer was inspired by the day’s events and wrote a poem she was willing to share:

Wild Alaska

Wild Alaska! Piled with

Fun. Wild Alaska!

Bring out the sun!

Hiking walking liking


This is fun!


By Annabelle King, age 7

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About the Author

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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