Inian Islands and Port Althorp “Salt Chuck”

Aug 27, 2019 - National Geographic Venture


This staff members’ favorite activity in Southeast Alaska is cruising through the Inian Islands. An incredibly special place with biodiversity so rich, it borders on extraordinary. Directly in the middle of the entrance to Icy Strait, and thus, all the inland waters of Southeast Alaska, a huge amount of water rushes past this small archipelago with every tide. Our morning activities were full of marine mammals of all descriptions hunting in the incoming tide and enjoying the late salmon run. For our afternoon, we moved back inland just a few miles to Port Althorp and a nearby salt chuck. Kayaking and hikes of all durations and speeds were offered. A highlight day of any expedition.

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About the Author

James Hyde

Undersea Specialist

James is a home-grown, free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsmen. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he grew up in and surrounded by the Salish Sea. James has saltwater in his veins, but would be quick to point out we all do, echoing Carl Safina " We are, in a sense, soft vessels of seawater." Born with the travel bug, James was fortunate enough to spend time on four continents before graduating college. During his studies at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, James went to Australia and visited the Great Barrier Reef. He was never the same. A lifetime of playing in the productive, but opaque green water of the Northwest had offered him little firsthand experience of the creatures below its depths, but with a clear view of the colorful dramas playing out across the bottom of the tropical Pacific, he was hooked. Scuba diving and underwater ecology were solidified as his passion and after college, it took him to a dive shop in Seattle fixing gear, tidepooling with local middle school students, and generally making a spectacle of himself in the surf.

About the Videographer

Eric Barnes

Video Chronicler

Eric is a native of Southern California and has been taking pictures for as long as he can remember.  He made a career as a news photographer, working for local and national news agencies.  As a photojournalist, Eric has documented some of the most important news events both nationally and around the world.  He has covered everything from the tsunami in Thailand to the war in Afghanistan and countless other compelling stories.

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