Chatham Strait & Kelp Bay

Jul 25, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


The first day of our expedition was filled to the brim with excitement and wildlife. This morning, even before 6 a.m., National Geographic Sea Bird was surrounded by humpback whales traveling alone and in pairs. What an amazing experience to wake up, take one step outside your warm cabin, and find a humpback whale swimming just a few hundred feet from your door. In the afternoon, we went out into the mist to hike and kayak in Kelp Bay and the Tongass National Forest. We encountered beautiful flowers for our eyes to feast on as well as fresh wild blueberries and salmon berries to taste. While in Kelp Bay, the Undersea team explored below the waves to gather video and images of the vibrant marine life in Kelp Bay. Finally, just as we gathered in the lounge to recap our first day’s fortune, we spotted a group of killer whales right outside the windows. It was an unforgettable beginning to our expedition in Southeast Alaska.

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About the Author

Christine West

Undersea Specialist

Christine was fortunate to grow up in the Pacific Northwest on the shores of the Puget Sound. After graduating from the University of Washington, she decided to pursue her love of the ocean and exploration. Her passion for marine biology has inspired her through over 4,000 scuba dives around the globe in temperate and cold-water conditions, as well as snorkeling and freediving in extraordinary habitats such as in river beds with spawning salmon, in recently de-glaciated bays and lagoons filled with ice and glacial silt and in deep blue water with large marine animals including humpback whales, hammerhead sharks and pilot whales.

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