Inian Islands, Alaska

Aug 15, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird


After spending our first days exploring the glacial fjords and towering rain forests of Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage, we repositioned, heading north along the rugged coastline to experience the region’s thriving ocean ecosystem.

The Inian Islands, our anchoring location for the fourth day of our expedition, are located at the boundary of the Inside Passage and churning waves of the Pacific Ocean. Each day, as the tides ebb and flow, millions of gallons of ocean water are channeled in and out of this narrow strait, bringing diverse sea life along with them.

We started the morning kayaking and hiking near Fox Creek, which gave us a close look at sea otters, kelp forests, and intertidal invertebrates such as sea stars and barnacles. Later, we boarded expedition landing crafts to cruise alongside the hundreds of Steller sea lions that eat the fish these currents bring into the strait from the open ocean. These encounters helped us understand what John Muir must have felt when, in 1879, he made his way through these same waters en route to Glacier Bay. He wrote, “And yonder…is a striking revelation of warm life in the so-called howling waste…making all the wilderness wilder.”

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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. 

About the Photographer

James Biscardi

Video Chronicler

James Biscardi is a young, ambitious professional photographer and videographer. He is always on the lookout for the next big adventure and “telling the story” through film.

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