During the middle of the night, the National Geographic Venture entered Glacier Bay National Park and sailed with the tide approximately 60 miles into the park. At sunrise, we were treated to beautiful light playing on the mountain peaks of the Fairweather Range and the clouds hovered over the Johns Hopkin Glacier. Just after breakfast, we visited Margerie Glacier listening and watching the glacier calve big pieces of ice into Tarr Inlet. Our thoughtful hotel staff set out a Bloody Mary bar stocked with all the fixings including candied salmon. As we made our way back down the bay, we encounter a total of three coastal brown bear on the shore of Rustle Cut. One interaction appeared to be a large dark male bear pursuing a smaller blonde female bear. Further south we watched a half dozen mountain goats perched on the precarious ledges of Gloomy Knob grazing on grass. Further down the bay we approached the Marble Islands which were teeming with wildlife including a bald eagle, an abundance of sea birds including puffins, and dozens of Northern sea lions hauled out. We headed south into the setting summer sun for another day of adventure in Southeast Alaska.
National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest arose amidst light clouds within the protected waters of Ushk Bay. This area is known for a salmon stream and yields plenty of opportunity for kayaking and exploring the vast meadows of its inner waterways. On this day’s occasion, guests were able to hike and paddle their way along the coast of Ushk Bay and witness firsthand the life cycle of Pacific salmon making their way upstream. As we transited through Peril Strait, we were lucky to see humpback whales. These immense mammals were “lunge feeding” very near our ship. Being able to witness this event was unique for guests and staff. Lunge feeding is process through which individual whales push their gaping mouths through the surface and collect any fish or planktonic invertebrates in the process. Witnessing this behavior was truly a remarkable experience for all. We will cherish this moment for a lifetime.