George Island & Inian Islands

Jul 12, 2019 - National Geographic Venture

We woke up to a beautiful Southeast Alaska morning, making our way through the fog as the temperate forest emerged in the distance. In the morning, we began our day of expedition cruising in full force. Kayakers and paddleboarders made their way over kelp forests, admiring the granite coves and arches. Meanwhile, hikers explored the trails of George Island. This beautiful island that not only offers an excellent nature experience in the temperate rainforest but is also a former military station where you can still find a WWII-era 6-inch 50-caliber emplacement for the anticipatory defense from Japanese troops.

After our time on shore, we picked up the anchor and moved a short distance over to the Inian Islands – a favorite among many. The Inians are a particularly productive are of the Inside Passage, where strong currents bring nutrient-rich water and feed the food web, from photosynthetic plankton, to krill, to fish, and the marine mammals and seabirds that consume them. Steller sea lions stole the show, with their boisterous displays and acrobatic antics. As we cruised through, we were surrounded by various seabirds, including Pigeon guillemots and cormorants, and managed to find a few sea otters wrapping themselves up in kelp and floating on their backs. Our already spectacular day was capped off by a pod of killer whales that came by for a dinnertime visit. Another expedition-worthy day in Southeast Alaska aboard National Geographic Venture.

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About the Author

Ana Sofia Guerra

Undersea Specialist

Ana was born in Monterrey, Mexico, very far away from the ocean. Eleven years later, she was living in São Paulo, Brazil and, through a local sea turtle NGO, she discovered a passion for the marine world and got certified as a PADI Junior Open Water Diver at age 12. After completing high school in Mexico City, Ana moved to California to attend Stanford University. Ana obtained a degree in Biology through Stanford University and she actively sought out opportunities to do her work by or in the water. After graduating, Ana was selected as the North American Rolex Scholar of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society. This unique diving scholarship allowed Ana to travel across the Americas, the South Pacific and Australia, where she immersed herself in variety of fields, from photography and dive guiding to marine science.

About the Videographer

Matthew Ritenour

Video Chronicler

Matthew grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, where a love of geography, culture and history were instilled at a young age. He studied anthropology at California State University, Chico, and soon began working at the Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology (ALVA), a documentary production studio that focuses on sharing the results of anthropological research with the public. As a cinematographer and editor at ALVA, he documented research on everything from the effects of drought in California, to looted petroglyphs in the Sierra Nevada high desert, and the global trade in emeralds.

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