Kelp Bay

May 24, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

At the Northeast corner of Baranof Island is a small inlet with several fingers called Kelp Bay. It was here that humpback whales greeted National Geographic Quest, and where we dropped anchor for a round of morning activities. Long walks off trail, short beach strolls, and exploratory kayaking took up the bulk of the morning. Much wildlife fills the shores of Kelp Bay, and many of us were treated to views of mink and bear while bald eagles pinwheeled overhead. The afternoon saw a polar plunge take place! A fantastic tradition where the brave and perhaps foolhardy leap into the chilly waters of Southeast Alaska, if only for a moment. After lunch we saw a special presentation by one of our video chroniclers on his side project, made possible by contributions from the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund. To top it all off, we were escorted around Chatham Strait by humpback whales throughout that evening.

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About the Author

James Hyde


James is a home-grown, free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsmen. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he grew up in and surrounded by the Salish Sea. James has saltwater in his veins, but would be quick to point out we all do, echoing Carl Safina " We are, in a sense, soft vessels of seawater." Born with the travel bug, James was fortunate enough to spend time on four continents before graduating college. During his studies at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, James went to Australia and visited the Great Barrier Reef. He was never the same. A lifetime of playing in the productive, but opaque green water of the Northwest had offered him little firsthand experience of the creatures below its depths, but with a clear view of the colorful dramas playing out across the bottom of the tropical Pacific, he was hooked. Scuba diving and underwater ecology were solidified as his passion and after college, it took him to a dive shop in Seattle fixing gear, tidepooling with local middle school students, and generally making a spectacle of himself in the surf.

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