Jul 02, 2019 - National Geographic Venture
We woke up to a beautiful foggy morning in Southeast Alaska as we made our way toward the Bay of Pillars. In true expedition spirit, we began our morning of adventuring. Many brave souls took on the challenge of bushwhacking through unknown territory and discovered evidence of the wildlife in this amazing area, from sea otter skeletons to moose and bear tracks! Meanwhile others took to the water on both kayaks and Zodiacs. Navigating through these new waters at low tide, we had a first-hand view of the diversity found in the intertidal zone. As we pressed on, we floated over the canopy of the kelp forest, an iconic marine ecosystem of this productive area. Cruising through the many islands found in the bay, we encountered harbor seals and sea otters, which play important roles in keeping these coastal ecosystems thriving and healthy.
We picked up the ship’s anchor in the afternoon, once the undersea team had returned to the boat after a dive exploring the life found beneath the surface of the bay. The rest of the day was spent looking for wildlife as we sailed the waters of Chatham Strait. Those of us vigilantly searching from the bow were rewarded with some humpback whale sightings, sea otters, porpoises, and seabirds. Just as we were about to head in for dinner, the stars of the show made an appearance – humpback whales engaging in cooperative feeding! As we watched with cameras and binoculars at the ready, a group of five whales carefully executed their plan of surrounding a school of herring with a bubble-net before simultaneously scooping them up in huge whale mouthfuls. A truly wonderful end to a spectacular day in Alaska’s Inside Passage.
Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.