Lake Eva and Saook Bay

Jul 03, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


Even before breakfast, whales were spotted in the distance. Although we were already at anchor in Hanus Bay, we quickly ate some coffee, eggs, and oatmeal to start our day. Shortly after, we took to the shore for hikes and to Peril Strait for small boat cruises. The hikers wound up the wooded path and along the shore of a salmon stream to end at Lake Eva, a beautiful small lake that feeds the nearby stream. The boaters headed east up the strait to search for the whales seen earlier – and they were found, feeding lazily, in the silky calm water. Several surprisingly close appearances made our day, even before lunch.

Having earned our lunch, we enjoyed a few minutes of relaxation on the ship as we repositioned to Saook Bay, a bit further west into Peril Strait. Here was one last chance at more small boat cruises, kayking, and (of course) a true Alaskan bushwhack hike. Several brave souls went off the beaten track to tromp over stumps and through tall grasses to see what lay in these wild lands. They snacked on wild salmon berries and photographed flowers before finally resting in the sun to wait for their ride back to the ship. Meanwhile, kayakers explored the marshy tip of the bay, paddling through tall grasses and along green meadows.

As the end of the last day grew to a close, we gathered in the lounge for a slideshow of these memorable last 10 days. The journey from Ketchikan, winding throughout nearly all of Southeast Alaska, has come to a close as we head west though the final narrows of Peril Strait towards Sitka. As we sit with new friends for a last delectable dinner of prime rib, local sockeye salmon, and mushroom risotto, the dining room is filled with chatter, laughter, memories, and the light of the bright, late Alaskan sunshine. Thank you all for a beautiful journey.

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About the Author

Ashley Knight

Undersea Specialist

Ashley was raised in the high desert of Sedona, Arizona and escaped to the sea as soon as she was old enough. She developed a love for the oceans when she began scuba diving as a teenager and this has led to a career intertwined with the sea. Her simultaneous career as marine scientist and undersea specialist have given her opportunities to explore the kelp forests of California's Channel Islands, the coral reefs of the Florida Keys, and the rocky reefs of the west coast spanning from Monterey Bay to the Oregon Coast to British Columbia, the fjords of southeast Alaska, and the ultimate cold water of Antarctica.

About the Photographer

Anna Mazurek

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

South Carolina native Anna Mazurek fell in love with traveling and photography while studying abroad in England during college. Since then, she’s been to 51 countries and lived in five. 

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