Holy cannoli, what an amazing start to our two-week voyage! This morning inside of Icy Strait Captain Nettles sighted the blows of several humpback whales. The whales turned out to be a group of cooperative bubble-net feeding humpbacks, the gold star for finding whales in Southeast Alaska. We used our hull-mounted hydrophone and heard a faint feeding call moments before the whales broke the water’s surface in unison as they fed on helpless and hapless herring. The visual spectacle combined with the audio supplement made for a delectable start. For the afternoon our expedition watercraft were our vehicle of exploration. The Inian Islands did not disappoint as we found sea otters, Steller sea lions, a plethora of sea birds and magnificent Rapunzel-like fronds of bull kelp. All of this with calm seas and skies that could hold their water. A great start to our voyage that will take us from Southeast Alaska to, ultimately, Seattle, Washington.
National Geographic Sea Bird
In the spirit of exploration, National Geographic Sea Bird pulled into Jackson Passage, a beautiful spot in British Columbia, to view whales and invertebrates from expedition landing crafts and kayaks. In the afternoon, thanks to rough seas and the motion of the ocean, we were all well reminded we were on a boat. A highlight of the day: diving in a new place and finding some beautiful—albeit small—hidden gems, right underneath the kayakers.