Hoonah Bay, Eight Fathom Bight

Jul 05, 2019 - National Geographic Venture


We woke to a placid ocean and hints that the day was going to be beautiful and warm. After seeing a plethora of sea otters casually enjoying the morning calm near Hoonah, we spied a pod of killer whales. The dorsal fin, which can reach up to six feet in length, helped us identify a male individual who was closest to the ship. We were able to keep pace with the male for several minutes and as if on cue, he graced us with several incredible photo opportunities.

Our afternoon destination was Eight Fathom Bight. We pulled into a cove in the late morning and the young explorers on board had the opportunity to have Zodiac driving lessons and a plankton pull. The young guests were thrilled and there was lots of laughter and smiles.

The afternoon activities consisted of guided kayaking, paddle boarding, Zodiac tours, and nature hikes along a logging road, including options for an aerobic pace or a meandering stroll with photo opts. During the hikes, salmon berries and blueberries greeted the hikers around every turn and the walk turned into an afternoon snack fest as well.

We weren’t the only ones feasting on the sweet berries. On the trail we found lots of evidence of bear activity and scat. We even found something no one could identify, prompting the game, “Whose Scat is That???”

The afternoon was glorious with sunshine and a high of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. After the afternoon activities concluded, we polar plunged into the Pacific, ending a perfect day at Eight Fathom Bight.

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About the Author

Syea Anderson

Syea Anderson

About the Photographer

Linda Burback

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Linda and her Air Force family moved extensively throughout the U.S. when she was a child. Linda continues to travel and explore a broader spectrum of the world as a naturalist with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. Linda earned her B.Sc. in horticulture from the University of Arizona in 1985 and worked with this degree in the commercial cactus industry for sixteen years.

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