Behm Canal, Alaska

Jul 30, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

From the bow of National Geographic Sea Bird, the sun rose over the forested ridgelines of the Inside Passage’s Behm Canal. The morning light, towering trees, and calm waters offered the perfect beginning to our adventurous Alaskan day.

The anchor dropped in Bailey Bay so that we could explore the shorelines and get a closer look at the temperate rain forest’s flora—yellow cedar, western red cedar, skunk cabbage, salmonberry, and dozens of mosses and lichens. Groups explored all angles of the area, taking part in photo walks, kayak and stand-up paddleboard expeditions, and hikes.

Then we set sail again to continue our exploration of the canal and our search for marine mammals. As we cruised, naturalist Ivan Phillipsen taught us about the geological history of the surrounding fjords and mountains, and Rich Reid demonstrated how to best use the camera on our iPhones. Just as we were ready to sit down for dinner, we spotted multiple humpback whales in the distance. We approached and got a close-up view of the baleen feeders as they repeatedly spouted, dove, and resurfaced.

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About the Author

Alex Krowiak

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

A childhood surrounded by the woods and streams of Pennsylvania initially sparked Alex’s curiosity about nature. That curiosity eventually led him to pursue degrees in biology and environmental studies at Boston College. During his time there he conducted research on carnivorous plants in Iceland and kelp forests in South Africa. Together these diverse experiences provided him with the background and passion to become a teacher. 

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