On the first full day of our expedition aboard National Geographic Sea Lion we entered Endicott Arm early and sailed toward our destination, Dawes Glacier. It was an uncharacteristically warm and beautiful blue-sky day in southeast Alaska. The fjord was littered with ice sculptures that had calved from the glacier and were melting in the water. Huge icebergs were evidence that there had been several large calving events in the recent past. A visit to the tidewater glacier in our Zodiacs was an exciting and new experience for most. After the visit we sailed back down the fjord to Stephens Passage and were treated to an exuberant humpback that breached. Continuing south, we were in Frederick Sound when we ended our day with a great encounter with a pod of killer whales.
National Geographic Sea Lion
The National Geographic Sea Lion continued through Chatham Strait during the night. Our ship was making its way toward our morning anchorage of Hanus Bay on the northeast tip of Baranof Island. Recently the hiking trail to Lake Eva has been beautifully renovated, allowing for many levels of hikers an opportunity to walk in a wonderfully protected section of temperate rainforest. Forests located on salmon rivers are protected allowing for the successful return of many species of Pacific salmon. We were divided into several levels of hiking and each group made its way up a small hill and into a forest of blow downs, mushrooms, ripe-red huckleberries, feasting squirrels and at least two species of salmon at their final destination, having returned to their natal stream to spawn the next generation of salmon. We walked, we stopped, we observed and heard about a world called a temperate rain forest from our staff. We all made our way up towards Lake Eva, stopping along the way, taking in the stories of all the different components that are part of this unique forest environment. During the afternoon we made our way a short distance to Saook Bay for water activities. Kayaks, paddleboards, and Zodiacs all provided for a chance to explore a quiet hidden bay. The perfect choice as, during the late morning hours, the wind had increased. A little quiet place to spend our afternoon protected, comfortable and safe was a wonderful way to finish our day.