Jun 03, 2019 - National Geographic Venture
We started the first full day of our expedition very early in the morning. After having spent the night at anchor in a protected cove, National Geographic Venture redirected headed toward the narrowest portion of the channel that separates Baranof and Chichagof Islands. Known as Sergius Narrows, the area is subjected to very strong tidal currents. So, despite it being quite early, many gathered at the deck to witness the tight navigation of this channel. The moment also brought with it a great variety of wildlife and landscapes.
Sitka spruce and western hemlock trees immersed in low clouds regaled us with a magnificent introduction to Southeast Alaska's temperate rainforest while more than twenty Sitka black-tailed deer and numerous bald eagles were found along both shores. A few humpback whales surprised us with their impressive blows and flukes and several Dall's porpoises made everyone's day with their incredible speed and striking coloration. Some of them spent a good deal of time swimming in front of our bow while young and old cheered and photographed. We also had the chance to witness a couple of brown bears on shore! A pair was eating the meadow’s grasses and sedges off Chichagof’s shore.
Chichagof is one of the renown islands of Southeast Alaska on which a genetically distinct group of brown bears live, in some of the highest-population densities known. What a privilege to watch all that before breakfast!
During the afternoon, we explored the surroundings of Lake Eva on Baranof Island. We hiked the Tongass National Forest, went kayaking in its waters. The dive team later went out to capture underwater footage for guests that evening. Overall, an excellent first day together exploring the Alexander Archipelago of Southeast Alaska!
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