Alert Bay, Canada

Sep 13, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


In the morning, we were met with warm, glorious weather as we cruised into Alert Bay. Alert Bay is the home and cultural center of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations. We first visited the U’mista Cultural Center where we learned how they people had been forced to abandon their traditions throughout much of their history. However, over time, they held steadfast, practicing their culture and language behind closed doors. Now they are able to showcase their way of life, and we saw an amazing collection of traditional masks and artifacts. The First Nations people invited us into their longhouse for a colorful dance performance and an opportunity to taste test local foods.

In the afternoon, as we sailed through Canada’s lush landscape, we saw a transient pod of killer whales attack and eat a harbor seal. It was an extraordinary display of power and stealth behavior. Later, we spotted about a dozen Pacific white-sided dolphins bow-riding and performing acrobatics alongside the ship. Before our day’s end, we heard an in-depth presentation on the fascinating research being conducted by The Alaska Whale Foundation. Then we heard from the photo team, as they dove into a tutorial on Adobe Lightroom. Once again, it was an action-packed day.

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About the Author

Eric Kruszewski

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

An editorial photographer and videographer based in Washington, D.C., Eric Kruszewski's multimedia work focuses on reportage and travel. His work is represented by National Geographic Creative, and he is a regular contributor to National Geographic's Image Collection.

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