Our last day in the Channel Islands started a little rough, full of swell, giving a fair amount of movement to the ship as we made our way toward the morning’s anchorage. However, with teamwork from everyone on the bridge, deck and staff, we were able to get guests ashore safely for the morning’s activities of a variety of hikes at the very scenic Little Harbor! Once everyone was back aboard National Geographic Sea Lion repositioned to the more leeward side of the island, to the small community of Two Harbors. Here we had a chance to either go ashore to explore the town or do a lovely Zodiac cruise along the dramatic coast. The final touch of the day was put on by our incredible hotel staff, a cocktail hour on the sun deck, with margaritas and lots of good food!
National Geographic Venture
We concluded our expedition in the Pacific Northwest by exploring picturesque Sucia Island, one of the many islands that make up the San Juan Archipelago. Comprised entirely of sedimentary rock and nearly entirely forested, it provided a perfect setting for our last operations of the week. Setting out in almost all directions on the well-manicured trails of this State Park, and from the driftwood strewn beach, we launched our kayaks in the protected waters of Shallow Bay. Still others set out by Zodiac to examine the many nooks and crannies of the shoreline and witness the current and windswept seas bringing productivity to the fish and birds that call these waters home. After wrapping up our morning outings we set out in search of wildlife, cruising the many channels that wind their way through the various islands in the Salish Sea. As luck would have it, we came across a group of 9 Biggs (transient) killer whales. These largest members of the dolphin family are common in these waters but are constantly on the move in search of prey such as harbor seals, porpoises, and Steller sea lions. It would appear this tight-knit family group had just recently made a kill as they were being very playful at times, breaching, tail lobbing, and spy hopping, as well as rolling along the surface in close contact with each other, likely portioning their recent kill. It was a truly grand performance and an iconic and fitting conclusion to our expedition in this rich and diverse area of the world.