Misty Fiords National Monument

Aug 04, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


We began our Epic Alaska voyage in Misty Fiords National Monument—a vast wilderness area about 20 miles from our embarkation port of Ketchikan, Alaska. We spent our day exploring several different fjords by various watercraft. We woke to a beautiful overcast morning, reminding all why the area is named Misty Fiords. We spent the pre-breakfast hours watching birds and the occasional Steller sea lion or harbor seal sneak a glance of us from the water. Our intrepid bow watchers were rewarded when they spotted a harbor seal feeding on a salmon it had caught.

Post-breakfast, National Geographic Sea Bird anchored in Walker Cove and launched our various watercraft for expedition landing craft tours, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboard adventures. Those who opted for the cruises learned of the natural wonders of the area while getting photography instruction from the naturalist teams. Those who went for the self-powered vessels enjoyed the serenity Walker Cove offered.

After lunch and our first photography lecture, we departed the ship for expedition landing craft tours of Owl Pass in Rudyerd Bay. All who joined witnessed the grandeur of the granite walls and domes—thousands of feet high—as well as waterfalls, birds, and harbor seals sunning themselves on logs. A truly spectacular first day.

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About the Author

John Mitchell

Expedition Leader

Raised in the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado, John has always been a “child of nature,” where the natural world around him was life’s classroom.  After graduating from Colorado State University with degrees in Speech Communication and Biology, John joined Lindblad Expeditions.  Over the years with Lindblad he tried to learn every aspect of vessel operations while spending his “free time” learning all that he could from the naturalists on board.  His time off the boats was spent traveling throughout North, South, and Central America learning more about the areas.  John left “for a spell” to pursue a post-graduate degree in marine ecology in Hawaii, fell in love with island life and now calls Maui home.

About the Photographer

Nathan Kelley

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nathan grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.  He developed his love for nature as a kid at his family’s cabin in Northern Wisconsin.  Family fishing trips, camping, hiking and a trip to his first National Park in the Everglades, all vigorously shaped his passion for the natural world.  After graduating with a degree in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest, he moved to Southern California to work as a camera operator and photographer in a wide range of projects including work for the National Geographic Society.  His photography has also been exhibited in galleries and in publications.

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