Khutze Inlet, British Columbia

Sep 10, 2018 - National Geographic Quest


This morning we awoke to the pitter-patter of steady rain upon the decks of National Geographic Quest. As we made way towards the small encampment of Butedale, the rain began to falter. We eagerly watched the shoreline, saving our attention for wildlife which might make its appearance.

While admiring the natural beauty of the land around us, we pushed onwards making our way into Khutze Inlet, a narrow but long band of sea that lingered until the water gave way to a mudflat that opened to an expansive meadow. The meadow looked to be an ideal place to set landfall. As we looked back, we could see the texture of the land we had just passed by. Waterfalls and rivers fell into the sea interrupting the steep walls of the inlet where they could, and seals swam about stealing breaths before diving into the dark depths below. We knew that despite the rainfall, the decision to kayak had proven to be a superb one.

As the hikers embarked upon the meadow they received the radio call every Naturalist dreams of: bears were spotted - two bears would could be seen in the meadow today! A sight to behold for the hikers as well as a powerful message and gift from the rainforest we are sailing through. As the hikers enjoyed these apex predators, the kayakers made their way from waterfall to waterfall. The sight of water pouring down from tree covered cliffsides is one that never disappoints.

All the while the undersea team was hard at work exploring the subtidal life of Khutze Inlet. Among the treasures they spied were sea slugs, rockfish, echinoderms of all types, and jellyfish. Khutze Inlet was alive today. It put on a show for us as we were welcomed by all manner of life and beauty. It will be a hard day to forget as we sail south towards the town of Alert Bay.

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About the Author

Kayvon Malek

Undersea Specialist

Raised in Southern California, Kayvon has spent his whole life living by the sea. However, his passion for the ocean truly unfolded while obtaining his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz. There he majored in environmental studies and biology and began his scuba diving career. While at UC-Santa Cruz he became an AAUS Scientific Diver as well as a NAUI Divemaster. These certifications allowed him to begin working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium taking children diving in an open exhibit. He was also a research diver for various labs at UC-Santa Cruz, assisting in all manners whether it was obtaining fish samples, setting up experiment apparatuses, or taking salinity and sediment samples. Since graduating Kayvon continues to volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a feeding show and maintenance diver and assisting with research.

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