Chatham Strait & Iyoukeen

Jul 28, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion


Today we awoke on our first full day aboard National Geographic Sea Lion. Our morning was supposed to be one filled with logistical information and briefings about how to embark on our expedition crafts, kayak safety, and more. Southeast Alaska had other plans though, as we left our cabins to be greeted by the sounds of humpback whale blows. As these whales surrounded our vessel, we photographed and took in the moment. Just when we thought we had seen it all, we were put in the immediate company of whales fluking all around us, one of which proceeded to slap the surface of the water and another lept out from the sea, breaching right before us.

When we did eventually make our way from the whales on toward our afternoon destination, we were again drawn out from the ship, luckily after all our briefings were completed. This time not for marine life but instead for a brown bear meandering along the waterfront, taking a lovely mid-day beach stroll. Again, we armed ourselves with binoculars and cameras and nudged National Geographic Sea Lion into close range to view and photograph our new and wonderful subject. Alaska truly is alive this time of year and this morning was proof of it.

During lunch, our undersea team went out to find underwater life to film for a later showcasing onboard, and soon after we raised anchor to head to Iyoukeen Cove, the site of our afternoon operations. There we went off into the forest for hikes, combed the beaches for intertidal life, and went out on our inflatable expedition crafts scouring the cove for more wildlife to complete our day. On our cruises, we investigated the intertidal area, looking at several species of sea stars. Those on the shore looked at crab molts and sea urchins. In the forest, we practiced our photography techniques and learned about all the temperate rainforest has to offer.

Eventually, exhausted and content with a full first day, we returned to the ship, left wondering what Southeast Alaska would have planned for us tomorrow.

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About the Author

Kayvon Malek

Undersea Specialist

In 2011 Kayvon’s life changed when he took his first breath underwater. After signing up for a SCUBA course on a whim while studying at the University of California, Santa Cruz he soon shifted his major and focus in life. He graduated in 2015 after studying Environmental Studies and Biology, focusing on marine conservation. By that time, he was an AAUS certified Scientific Diver aiding in field research, a NAUI Divemaster, and had begun working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium sharing the wonder of the ocean that captivated him four years prior.

About the Videographer

Dave Katz

Video Chronicler

As a family growing up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, free time was spent in the outdoors. Dave’s mother, an earth science and biology teacher turned weekend hikes into informative lessons. The beautiful gorges, lakes and forests made a lasting impression.

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