Iyoukeen Inlet and Cruising

Jul 12, 2018 - National Geographic Quest


As most were getting out of their bed this morning a lone brown bear wandered the shore of Iyoukeen Inlet before heading back into the long grass and out of view. We were anchored in the sheltered cove that had a promising looking intertidal zone abutting old growth forest—both offering great options for exploration. Many joined our marine ecologists in the intertidal zone, quickly finding a wealth of diversity hidden under the algal blanket. The tide pools offered colorful anemones, sea cucumbers, urchins, sea stars, crabs, and snails. Everyone found their own treasures in amongst the many rock pools. Meanwhile intrepid explorers were meandering into the undergrowth following animal tracks into the depths of the forest while others chose to explore above the water by kayak or paddleboard. While guests returned to the National Geographic Quest for lunch the divers jumped in to take footage from below the intertidal zone. The afternoon was spent wildlife spotting from the bow while making our way south. As if we hadn’t seen enough for one day, our aperitifs were enjoyed in front of Kasnyku Falls and dessert was accompanied by a talk about the local humpback whale populations by Dr. Andy Szabo from the Alaska Whale Foundation.

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About the Author

Gail Ashton

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

With a bachelor’s degree from Wales and a Ph.D. from Scotland, Gail has used her skills in marine biology to pursue her passion: investigating marine biodiversity all over the world. As a research scientist based in San Francisco, she has led projects in coastal marine communities from Alaska to Panama. A cold-water diver at heart, Gail jumped at the opportunity to lead a research project on the impacts of climate change that involved spending two years diving under the ice in Antarctica. Other projects have taken her to Florida, Guam and Indonesia.

About the Photographer

Doug Gould

Naturalist

Travel and adventure were an integral part of Doug’s upbringing in a small town on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Growing up on the Great South Bay, his family claims Doug learned to sail before he learned to walk. Whether it was camping, sailing, birding, traveling across country or spending most of fifth grade living in Europe, Doug’s formative years left him with a love of wildlife, the outdoors, and a desire to keep moving. 

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