George Island and Inian Islands

Jul 17, 2019 - National Geographic Quest


The fog and rain broke today revealing the crystalline, dew-covered floor of the rainforest’s moss, laying out a soft carpet for hikers at George Island. Trekkers wended through Sitka spruce and western hemlock, finding mushrooms and witches’ hair enveloping tree trunks and outstretched limbs. Searchers among the intertidal pools found crabs, sea stars, and colorful sea anemones, rippling just beneath the water.

After lunch, the group loaded onto our expedition watercraft to tour the Inian Islands, a place rife with marine life. Young male sea lions “porpoised” over one another and rode the wakes of humpbacks. Undisturbed by the boats, one humpback approached a vehicle and dove beneath it, while guests held their breath waiting for it to emerge on the other side. The tour finished with bobbing sea otters floating among kelp and a bonded pair of bald eagles perched atop a rocky cliff, watching the waters closely for dinner.

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About the Author

Michelle Theall

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Michelle Theall started her career as a photographer and travel writer over two decades ago and currently enjoys working as a senior editor and photographer for Alaska magazine covering the flora and fauna of the state. Beyond Alaska, Theall teaches photography across the globe with specialization in Arctic regions and Africa. Her award-winning work has been published in National Geographic.com, Sierra magazine, Backpacker, Outdoor Photographer, and in other titles across the globe, and she is represented by several stock agencies. She’s been featured in Oprah magazine and Health, and has appeared on Today, Fox Sports Network, and the Travel Channel.

About the Videographer

Dexter Sear

Video Chronicler

Dexter grew up in England where a love for exploring the countryside ignited a lifelong passion for discovering natural history and embarking on adventure. As a teenager, two trips to India sparked a fascination with insects and a desire to share a “hidden” macro world was born. He produced a popular insect website and authored a reader digest about cultural entomology.

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