George and Inian Islands

Jun 03, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion


After spending a day at sea through the Gulf of Alaska, National Geographic Sea Lion passed Cape Spencer in the early hours of the morning looking to explore Icy Strait. The clouds shrouded the morning sky and even sprinkled some liquid sunshine en route to George Island for our hiking and kayak adventures.

The cool Alaskan weather welcomed our adventurous hikers along with our kayak and paddleboard team. Our hikers were eager to investigate the old military emplacement left from WWII. Although there were no sightings of bears or other terrestrial wildlife, those on water were bombarded with eagles, sealions, and sea otters from every seeming angle.

Upon arrival of our next location, the team and guests bundled up and went out exploring around the Inian Islands. As watercraft zipped this way and that off the horizon they were greeted by a variety of wildlife, including sea otters, sealions, pigeon guillemots, and pelagic cormorants. The Inian Islands are well known for their wildlife, as it is a group greatly exposed to the open Pacific Ocean (strong currents by default) that stirs nutrients and phytoplankton to the benefit of the surrounding biota. This yields ideal habitat space for fish, foraging marine mammals, and sea birds alike. We managed to get up close and personal with a sealions in Mosquito Cove while cruising, while further having the opportunity to spend time with a sea otter mother and her pup. We later visited the Inian Island Institute, a converted homestead for research, fireside cocktails, and evening snacks.

As National Geographic Sea Lion set sail to our next destination, our expedition team and guests returned to the ship, ready to share the day’s experiences over a delicious dinner. The night was spent viewing the video from the dive team showcasing the spectacular views of life underwater. After a lavish meal, our guests catch the sunset over the mountain range before turning in.

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About the Author

Brian Doyle

Brian Doyle

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Brian Doyle is a Photography Instructor striving to educate clients on safe and sustainable wildlife interactions through photography courses and naturalism. Born and raised in the heart Minnetonka, Minnesota, he quit his full-time job as a financial advisor and insurance agent to pursue his passion of photography and the outdoors. Brian is dedicated to promoting environmental literacy among youth, teaching sustainable practices and providing program development at all levels of an organization.

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