Exploring Wrangell Narrows and Totem Bay
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 21 Aug 2021

Exploring Wrangell Narrows and Totem Bay

  • Aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion
  • Alaska

This morning National Geographic Sea Lion entered Wrangell Narrows. This 22-mile channel between Mitkof Island and Kupreanof Island provides an interesting transit, with the nautical fishing town of Petersburg at its north end point. There are approximately 60 lights and buoys along the narrows to mark navigation hazards. From the bow, guests and field staff kept an eye out for wildlife as we passed cozy homes of local Alaskans that dot the shoreline. After our transit against the tide, we steamed into Sumner Strait with a course for Totem Bay.

 

We dropped anchor in Totem Bay during lunch, and after a hearty meal guests departed National Geographic Sea Lion for forest and beach hikes as well as Zodiac tours along the shoreline. Totem Bay was named in 1886 by U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey on account of the stunning detached pillars of rock on its western shore, which resemble Indian totem poles. The highlights of the afternoon included viewing sea otters and porcupines from Zodiacs, and exploring the intertidal zone along the beach.

 

Before dinner all guests were back on board searching for whales and other sea life, as they enjoyed the crisp Alaskan air and sunbeams breaking through low-lying clouds.

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