In the morning we divided up to explore Grindall Island. The long hikers went up to a beautiful lake and “bushwhacked” well beyond it. The photo hikers barely made it past the beach. The intertidal zone was spectacularly diverse and made for fantastic tide-pooling. We then circumnavigated the island on Zodiacs where we saw bald eagles, an abundance of ochre stars, sea urchins, and lots and lots of sea lions. After lunch we went on a tour and tasting of Hump Island Oyster Farm. We learned about the process and challenges of running an oyster farm and sampled the products. The Global Explorers learned how to use the ROV, or Remotely Operated Vehicle, under the docks of the oyster farm.
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.