Security and Red Bluff Bay

Aug 14, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion

This morning we visited Security Bay State Marine Park, located on Kuiu Island. This island is known for many things. One of them being some of the most dense populations of American black bear, with there being approximately 1 bear per 1.5 square kilometers. The bay itself is stunning with many small forest-covered islands and dramatic scenery. In classic fashion we set out on land and sea to take in the rich wildness predominating this space. Hiking over expansive tidal flats and meadows and in some cases exploring deep in to the dense forests following ancient trails laid down by thousands of years of usage by black bears, taking in the ample and delicious berry crop along the way. Kayaking and paddleboarding gave guests a perspective similar to that of a sea otter’s of the surrounding bay, while Zodiac cruises afforded many to navigate out further afield to explore the bay more broadly.

Red Bluff Bay is situated across Chatham Strait from Kuiu Island on Barinof Island. The dramatically incised fjord winding back some four nautical miles is named for the reddish ultramafic rock which forms the bay’s entrance. A stunning cascade travels down the vertical walls near the back of the bay with a classic tidal meadow and salmon stream completing this perfect Southeast Alaska scene.

Later in the afternoon we were joined by Dr. Andy Szabo from The Alaska Whale Foundation and several of his interns as we cruised Chatham Strait in search of humpback whales. As luck would have it, we encountered several whales and Dr. Szabo was able to interpret what we were seeing for our guests. Just before dinner he gave a lecture detailing the research his organization has been doing here in Southeast Alaska.

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About the Author

Doug Gualtieri


Doug Gualtieri has worked as a Naturalist interpretive guide for over 20 years, beginning his career in Denali National Park and Preserve at a remote wilderness lodge leading hikes and giving lectures on the ecology and wildlife of that region. Later he began leading Lindblad Expeditions land extensions to Denali in 2002 and has worked with Lindblad in some form or another ever since. With a background in Biology and a lifelong passion for the natural world Doug moved to Talkeetna, Alaska in 1999 from his home state of Michigan, and never looked back.

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