Sitkoh Bay and Chatham Straight

Aug 09, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion

Rain? What rain? So much for rain gear on this trip! The guests aboard National Geographic Seal Lion woke this morning to another sunny and warm day as we entered Sitkoh Bay. After another delicious breakfast, the guests had one last opportunity to experience the isolated and beautiful wilderness of Southeast Alaska.

The entire morning was dedicated to exploring Sitkoh Bay, at the southeast corner of Chichagof Island. We went ashore for long and moderate walks along a well-maintained logging road. Long walkers reached a huge meadow at the bay’s end, and found that young salmon had recently began smoltification, a process to help it make the transition from a freshwater to saltwater environment. In the forest along the road and in the meadow, we saw many signs of brown bears—depressions in the beach wildrye grass, scat, and shallow holes in the dirt where bears had dug up edible plant roots. Kayakers, too, had the opportunity to paddle along the shores and down into the bay’s end. There were many birds spotted along the shore including bald eagles and a couple species of gulls that dotted the water perhaps waiting for an easy meal to surface.

Once back aboard, the expedition leader announced it was time for an impromptu cold-water swim for those wanting a refreshing dip after the morning activities. Given the temperature today was rather warm there were quite a few takers on the plunge into the bay. While many opted for a quick jump in and scurry out, a few entrances included the classic cannonball splash.

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About the Author

Shawn Lucas


Shawn’s love of the outdoors began at an early age when he would play the game manhunt with his neighborhood friends in the forest behind the development they lived in situated in the tiny upstate hamlet of Wappingers Falls, New York. As long as he can remember, the forest had always beckoned and sparked a strong sense of exploration and wanderlust. 

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