Today we discovered the beauty of all this water in the coastal rainforest. The mist hugged the trees in long luxurious strands and tried to decide if it wanted to fall as rain or just hang in the air. We tested our boots on our first wet landing on the rocky shores of Halleck Harbor. When we pushed back the branches and entered the forest, there was a whole wealth of life to discover on the land. The tireless rain powers layers of growth from salmon berries creeping along the understory, to fierce Devil’s club crossing our path, all the way up to the mighty Sitka spruce towering overhead.
Some of us explored by kayak, hovering over the clear water to peer into the world down there. Others stuck to the shore to check the tidepools. The area exposed by the receding tide was full of the rich life of fish, mollusks, anemones, sea stars, chitons, algae and those that like to feed on them, like the sneaky mink slinking across the barnacle-encrusted mudstone.
Our divers went under the water and brought back images of the vibrant life from the sea floor. Whale researchers told us about the life of humpback whales and how scientist strive to learn more as we sailed back out to the open water. Along the coast we saw waterfalls transporting snowmelt from the icy peaks back to the water below, and clouds climbing the mountains to feed the endless water cycle.