Inian Islands, Icy Strait

May 21, 2019 - National Geographic Venture

Cruising in and around the Inian Islands always offers the chance for an abundant and varied myriad of life. Marine mammals and sea birds abound here: where the mighty Pacific Ocean presses itself through constricted and narrow openings, into the interior waters of Southeast Alaska. Every salmon or herring that comes into this part of Alaska must come through these waters.

Bald eagles know this. Humpback whales know this. Steller sea lions know this. Today all on board National Geographic Venture became privy to this knowledge as we cruised these waters in search of wildlife, and what amazing encounters we found! Humpback whales throwing their tail flukes in the sea, adult and juvenile bald eagles soaring over our heads, and Steller sea lions working the rip tide in search of a meal. The profundity of life here is overwhelming, and all on display for those witnessing it!

Perhaps the highlight of the day came in the late evening as a pod of killer whales surfaced off the bow of the ship. Cameras clicked and whirred as the sun slowly set over the Fairweather Mountain Range to the west. The perfect end to a perfect Alaskan day!

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About the Author

Michael Nolan

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez.

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