Jun 15, 2019 - National Geographic Venture
A brown bear caught the attention of early risers on the bow as we cruised up Sitkoh Bay on the southeast side of Chichagof Island. Hearing something from our ship, it turned and walked quickly into the forest. There was however more wildlife to see and adventures to share on our last day of an amazing voyage in Southeast Alaska.
We anchored far into the bay near the remains of an old salmon cannery, now modified into a fishing lodge. We spent our day on the north side of the bay where we hiked, kayaked and/or used the stand-up paddleboards to explore the quiet water. The forests were full of birdcalls, though we could see few birds as we walked along an old logging road. Our attention was on the trees and shrubs and especially the beautiful wildflowers within the foliage. A lowly invertebrate, the banana slug, was a source of fascination. Its large size, color, and important role within the forest provided a topic for several discussions. There were dozens along our path and while we stopped to view this simple creature, several guests enjoyed a brief but very close encounter with a mink skulking quietly nearby in the forest.
After morning operations, we returned to the ship for lunch and an afternoon of activity that included Zodiac driving for our younger guests, and a polar plunge for all brave enough to jump into the cold water of Sitkoh Bay. Our day ended with the presentation of certificates to those who completed our Global Explorers program and a slide show of their work. Our farewell dinner was followed by a guest slide show as we began our transect of Peril Strait toward our final destination of Sitka.
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