Port Althorp and Inian Islands

May 27, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


We had a smooth cruise overnight aboard National Geographic Sea Bird to the north of Chichagof Island. Early risers had views of humpback whales and sea otters as we entered Port Althorp. At the head of the inlet, Sitka black-tailed deer foraged in the mud flats. When we went ashore, we found their tracks intermingled with those of brown bears, mink, and a variety of birds, all of which passed through the same space, separated by time. Flowers bloomed in forest and meadow. Birds observed included greater yellowlegs and northern shovelers (a type of duck). Kayakers and paddleboarders took in the scenic beauty and spectacular geography of a landscape shaped by ice.

Weather and water conditions change rapidly and continuously around the Inian Islands. This small archipelago interrupts tidal currents that flow between the open ocean and Icy Strait, causing much mixing and up-welling, stimulating a complex food web. Life abounds in these rich waters and we found sea otters, Steller sea lions, bull kelp, and bald eagles eager to make a good living here as we cruised around the islands.

Afterwards we were on our way to the northernmost destination of our voyage—the quaint town of Haines, Alaska, where many activities and adventures await us.

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About the Author

Lee Moll

Naturalist

Lee grew up as a "Nature Girl" in the rural outskirts of New York City, where she developed and expressed her keen sense of biophilia.  She expanded her passion for the outdoors when she ventured to the western side of the country and she currently owns a home in Boise, Idaho.

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