May 05, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion
After a smooth overnight run up through the Salish Sea from Seattle, National Geographic Sea Lion arrived for clearance through Canadian customs in the early morning hours. The forested mountain backdrop welcomes our vessel, with Mount Benson vaulted from behind. The city of Nanaimo is a classic west coast community, offering natural beauty at every turn. Nanaimo is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, 133 kilometers north of Victoria BC and 55 kilometers across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver City. The city projects out like a headland with waterfront on three sides.
Once securely moored to the dock, guests and crew enjoyed a tasty breakfast in the dining room and had a bit more time to settle into their cabins and stow gear as we waited for the Canadian customs officials. Out on deck guests we were able to see glaucous-wing gulls and pelagic cormorants flying by our small ship. Many recreational boats were departing the local marina as the set sail fishing and local explorations of the surrounding water ways for the weekend.
After the completing customs paperwork, National Geographic Sea Lion departs Nanaimo for points north. Once we are back underway, our expedition leader Steven Morello leads the guests and crew in a few important voyage briefings, and our photo staff presents to guests on the “Introduction to Expedition Photography.” After the program the photo staff offer individual sessions to assist in camera setup or answer what questions guests may have.
Lunch was served at 12:30, and then we stepped out on deck to take in some beautiful scenic cruising in Desolation Sound while enjoying the splendid May weather of British Columbia. At 2:00 Jeff Campbell gave an informative presentation on the “Cetaceans of the Pacific Northwest” in the lounge.
At cocktail hour the guests and crew continue to enjoy the camaraderie of life at sea on an expedition vessel setting off on a voyage. A time to continue personal introductions and begin to establish new friendships. After recaps and dinner, “The Monster Under the Sea” was shown, concluding another beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest.
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