Jul 26, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird
The day dawned cloudy and slightly misty—true Alaskan weather! We had sailed through the night from Kelp Bay and Chatham Strait and arrived in Icy Straits in early dawn. We ducked into Idaho Inlet to explore for wildlife on the shore, and spotted Sitka black-tailed deer grazing in the grasses. In the water around us, we spotted blows of humpbacks and grew excited when we saw several humpbacks feeding and swimming in the area. A few sea otters cruised by on their backs, and seabirds bobbed in the water.
After a hearty breakfast, we suited up and went cruising in the Inian Islands. Several guests witnessed an amazing display of energy from a pod of transient orcas that were chasing a Steller sea lion. Others explored along the shoreline and found Steller sea lions and black-legged kittiwakes. Bald eagles sat in the trees, watching overhead, and pigeon guillemots bobbed on the water catching sand lances. We were surprised when mother and calf humpback whales surfaced near our expedition landing crafts. It was an amazing start to our day!
Afterward, we returned to the ship for a class on smartphone photography and a delicious lunch. Mary Jo from Elfin Cove came on the ship to talk about the remote town, and afterward, we headed ashore to George Island for a forest hike. We explored both nature and the human WWII history of the place. Then we headed into the village to visit the museum and general store.
Heavy clouds formed during dinner, creating a dramatic landscape. We closed off the evening with dessert while listening to a presentation on Forest Succession by one of the naturalists on board.
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