Gold Harbor & St. Andrew’s Bay

Feb 28, 2020 - National Geographic Explorer

We made the most of our day today, beginning with a pre-dawn landing, paired with an outing after breakfast at Gold Harbor, where tens of thousands of king penguins nest. Elephant seals and fur seals are also commonly seen here. The elephant seals we saw today were molting—after the breeding season these massive beasts must replace their pelage prior to the winter months. They do so by slumbering around on the beaches heaped in piles to assist in the process.

For the afternoon we added another significant feather in our caps by landing at St. Andrew’s Bay, where over 200,000 pairs of king penguins nest, spread out over the vast alluvial landscape. Some guests participated in our citizen science bio-blitz with a longer hike to the colony, while the remainder of our guests hiked a little over half a mile to the viewpoint overlooking the sprawling masses of penguins below.

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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.

About the Videographer

Ashley Karitis

Video Chronicler

Ashley was raised in Central Oregon where she spent her childhood ski racing, riding horses, playing classical piano, and working summer jobs on a dude ranch. She then attended the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles earning degrees in cinema-television, history, and international relations. Although immersed in the studies of narrative filmmaking, she gravitated toward the process, deeper on-camera conversations, and scientific and human themes explored in documentary production.

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