Baranof Island, Lake Eva

Jul 10, 2019 - National Geographic Venture


We woke up early in the morning navigating north on Chatham Strait, enjoying a mountaineer’s delight with landscape of different elevations. Along the way we had calm waters and a clear morning sky. Surrounding us were puffy white blows from humpbacks and a few occasional fun splashes from Dall’s dolphins.

We headed to Baranof Island, to the Alaska Whale Research Station and picked up resident scientist and speaker Dr. Andy Szabo. All our guests were very interested to know about bubble-netting, a fishing technique done by humpback whales. Dr. Szabo invited our guests to become citizen-scientists by taking high-resolution pictures of the inner part of whale flukes and save them on an assigned folder for the future identification and continuous monitoring of these impressive individuals. We then had another interesting and informative presentation from our naturalist Steve Bakus, who discussed the bears found in Southeast Alaska.

We reached Lake Eva on the next portion of our day’s journey. We started our activities with an array of options tailored to our guests’ interest. Those who opted for a hike were rewarded with a small waterfall, bald eagles, kingfishers and the long-awaited salmon jumping out of the water, as their parents had. Guests who went kayaking along the shoreline had great wildlife spotting opportunities. This day was particularly special because it was the lowest tide of the day, allowing for further exploration of the shoreline and observing all kinds of intertidal life like sea stars, barnacles, clams, and algae.

This was a fun filled day at its best in Southeast Alaska. We continue our navigation eager for what is yet to come.

To our readers: Wish you were here!

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About the Author

Celso Montalvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Celso was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At the age of nine he arrived in the Galápagos for the first time and he was profoundly touched by nature, observation, and isolation.  When he saw the sharks, rays and turtles swimming in the bay, he was triggered by a sense of wonder that he did not feel before.  Celso believes education is key to preservation. After graduating from the Naval Academy at the age of 17 he moved to New York to continue his education.

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