We woke to hints of blue behind a curtain of leaden gray that would part to reveal a rare, bluebird day in Southeast Alaska. As we steamed towards our destination, a pod of Dall’s porpoises gamboled in the distance. On Grindall Island, we enjoyed a mini-morning repast of raw and grilled oysters at Alaska’s newest, and perhaps only oyster far – Hump Island Oyster Company. After being treated to oysters, kelp salsa, miso soup, and a variety of fine beverages, we steeled ourselves for an afternoon of bushwhacking and Zodiac cruises around Grindall Island. It was a fine day that will provide lasting memories for seasons to come.
National Geographic Sea Lion
The National Geographic Sea Lion continued through Chatham Strait during the night. Our ship was making its way toward our morning anchorage of Hanus Bay on the northeast tip of Baranof Island. Recently the hiking trail to Lake Eva has been beautifully renovated, allowing for many levels of hikers an opportunity to walk in a wonderfully protected section of temperate rainforest. Forests located on salmon rivers are protected allowing for the successful return of many species of Pacific salmon. We were divided into several levels of hiking and each group made its way up a small hill and into a forest of blow downs, mushrooms, ripe-red huckleberries, feasting squirrels and at least two species of salmon at their final destination, having returned to their natal stream to spawn the next generation of salmon. We walked, we stopped, we observed and heard about a world called a temperate rain forest from our staff. We all made our way up towards Lake Eva, stopping along the way, taking in the stories of all the different components that are part of this unique forest environment. During the afternoon we made our way a short distance to Saook Bay for water activities. Kayaks, paddleboards, and Zodiacs all provided for a chance to explore a quiet hidden bay. The perfect choice as, during the late morning hours, the wind had increased. A little quiet place to spend our afternoon protected, comfortable and safe was a wonderful way to finish our day.