We started the day with a black bear sighting on Prince of Wales Island, where we anchored for our hikes on Grindall island. The first operation of the day was a vigorous bushwhacking hike in the mud. I however did a much more civilized leisurely walk in the woods and intertidal exploration searching for sea creatures. After the hikes we did a Zodiac circumnavigation of the island and found a small haul out of boisterous and stinky young male Steller sea lions. It was a bachelor pad with only the sea lions that are too young to claim a spot on the mating beaches. After lunch we cruised for a while looking for other wildlife on our way to Hump Island Oyster Company and we found two humpbacks bubble-net feeding. Bubble-net feeding is a type of cooperative feeding strategy the uses tools (bubbles). This is rare in the animal world and is not often seen outside of Southeast Alaska. At Hump Island we tasted some delicious oysters with kelp salsa and learned a lot about the challenges of oyster farming.
National Geographic Quest
A fine and adventurous day was awarded to us on our last chance to explore Southeast Alaska on this voyage. We anchored in the morning at Ushk Bay just between Baraknof and Chicagof Islands. We spent the morning exploring the vast beach, meadows, and forests that make this area so special and wild. Salmon were making their final push upstream while the less lucky fishes lay as carcasses along the streams. We have learned and seen so much in our short time in Southeast Alaska and it has never disappointed.