We woke to a bank of fog as we slid slowly into Hanus Bay, giving us lovely sea and sky images. We saw dozens of marbled murrelets floating on the surface and “Jack” Silver, one-year old sexually premature salmon, jumping from the water. After breakfast, we kayaked or hiked the trail seeing eagles, brown bears, wildflowers, and the first of the delicious salmonberries. Our afternoon is spent cruising and watching for wildlife all the way to our journey’s end in Sitka.
National Geographic Quest
Early in the morning, National Geographic Quest entered Tracy Arm and sailed up toward the Sawyer and South Sawyer Glaciers. There was a little ‘liquid sunshine,’ aka rain, and fluffy wafting clouds, which is typical Southeast Alaska weather. The fjord has tall, sheer cliff faces and lots of waterfalls that we observed today. We all hopped into our Zodiacs, and the naturalists provided interpretation in front of the Sawyer Glacier. The harbor seals seemed quite curious about our presence. We observed a few minor calving events and lots of bergy bits floating around in the inlet. After the Zodiac tours, there were briefings in the lounge until we spotted a black bear. The ship maneuvered expertly, and we watched the bear eating from the intertidal zone for quite some time. Continuing down the fjord, we saw a variety of birdlife near Holkham Bay and Stephens Passage. We finished our evening by passing by the Five Finger Lighthouse as the sun was setting.