Jul 21, 2018 - National Geographic Quest
Though it happens quite often, it is always a pleasant surprise when we awake on National Geographic Quest in a completely new and incredible place from where we fell asleep. On this occasion, we awoke anchored along the sunbathed shores of Baranof Island, aside the waters of Peril Strait. After coffee and breakfast, we took to the shore for hiking explorations through the forest towards Lake Eva. Hikers of all paces set off on a trail that winds through Sitka spruce and Western hemlock forests, along the shores of the river bearing salmon and trout—which, in turn, brings bears to the banks. Peeking along the trail through the trees, the hikers watched brown bears and Sitka black-tailed deer on the banks of the river. Other guests and staff explored a short distance up the river via kayaks and stand up paddleboards. These watercrafts also allowed us to explore the bay around the ship’s anchorage.
After the brave souls who got up close and personal with the waters of Alaska in the Polar Plunge—a quick dip in the “icy” waters along the shore—the afternoon was spent searching the waters of Chatham Strait for whales and other wildlife. We reminisced on our incredible voyage in Southeast Alaska with friendships forged along the way. A dinner of locally caught salmon, foraged mushroom risotto, and chocolate decadence cake was enjoyed in the dining room as we passed through the narrow walls of Sergius Narrows, on the final leg of our trip towards Sitka.
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