Our last full day onboard the National Geographic Quest began with some stunning morning light filtering through the clouds as we approached Hoonah Sound. A few humpback whales were sighted making some very lazy shallow dives. Our plan for the morning was to explore Ushk Bay with a variety of hikes and expedition landing craft cruises. As the morning operations came to an end, our young Global Explorers had a landing craft driving lesson. Lunch followed as the ship headed into Sergius Narrows and toward Sitka, where we will disembark early tomorrow after a full week of exploring Southeast Alaska.
National Geographic Quest
Ushk Bay and Peril Strait
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.