The amazing weather continues as we journey north on our five-day expedition of Southeast Alaska. After a stunning show by a pod of killer whales last night, just a few of us were out on the bow early morning to enjoy scenic cruising past the fishing town of Petersburg and stunning views of the Stikine Ice Field. We worked off our breakfast with an invigorating hike up to the muskeg bogs of Ideal Cove, before Captain Nettles navigated across the submarine moraine of LeConte Bay. Here we lowered small boats to explore an iceberg wonderland. Surprised to encounter less ice than in years passed, naturalists were able to weave around ice floes and reach the mighty face of the LeConte Glacier – a first for me, and one of the most spectacular sights I have seen in Southeast Alaska. Glaciers, icebergs, alpine vistas, bogs, rainforests – today had it all!
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.