Cruising and Petersburg

Aug 21, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Lion


We awoke to another day of clear blue skies and sunshine pouring over the shimmering sea. Cruising south through Frederick Sound, we searched for wildlife throughout the morning. Early on, we saw exhalations of several whales, their breath instantly vaporizing into large plumes of mist. Before, sightings of a bear, sea lions, bald eagles, and many other seabirds. In between sun soaking sessions on the bow, our photo instructor Lauren Buchholz gave presentations on photography, including tips and tricks on iPhones and their features.

Just after lunchtime, our splendid second mate Marlow Brennan parallel parked National Geographic Sea Lion in port at Petersburg. The historically notable town “built on salmon” offered opportunities to test out new photographic insights on a walk, bicycling, flight seeing above Le Conte Glacier, exploring the fishing vessels along the dock, and a trip over to a muskeg trail. An infamous peak, the Devil’s Thumb was in clear view the majority of the day, a rare occurrence and beautiful sight to welcome us to the small community of approximately 3,000 people. While commercial fishing vessels lined the docks alongside the nearby cannery, the undersea specialist team went to investigate a local salmon stream. Small chinook (king) salmon fry and hefty adults alike filled the nearby streams surrounding Petersburg. Spawning until their death, these semelparous fish appeared more like zombies with bits of decaying skin floating off them while gnashing their enlarged teeth. Although the clouds began to roll in and the afternoon hikers caught some raindrops, it made our evening’s Alaskan crab feast all the more authentic!

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About the Author

Caitlyn Webster

Undersea Specialist

Caitlyn grew up entranced by the sea. She first became SCUBA certified while in high school in southern California and found her true passion diving and studying marine life. After graduating from Cal Poly State University: San Luis Obispo with a degree in Biological Sciences and a concentration in Marine Science and Fisheries, she began her career in research diving operations and logistics. Through different universities and various opportunities, Caitlyn has been fortunate enough to travel to particularly remote parts of the world, sharing her enthusiasm for exploring the seas and marine conservation.

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