It was one of those rare Alaska mornings when the weather starts out nice and just gets better as the sun heads toward its zenith. Before we even reached our first anchorage in the Hobbit Hole, we spotted humpbacks and Steller sea lions from the bow where several of us had gathered to assess the day as we worked our way through our first cup of coffee. The lack of wind and rain, notable to those of us who regularly ply these waters, portended a fine day, and we were not disappointed!

After breakfast, the bosun and his deckhands readied Zodiacs for morning cruises in the Inian Islands, and staff spoke with guests about what they might see. We never make promises, for we are aware that it is best to under promise and over-deliver!

In the end, we could have promised the moon, and our guests would not have been disappointed! The Inians delivered today, showing us hundreds of Steller sea lions, dozens of bald eagles, many, many sea otters, and even a humpback mother and calf! By the time we started our second round of cruises, we were basking in full sun, and nobody wanted to leave the whales to go back to the ship for lunch. And the day still had more in store for us!

All good things must come to an end, and so it was with our weather. By the time we were done eating lunch and getting ready for our afternoon at George Island, the clouds had gathered, and it was threatening to rain. Shortly after landing, the skies did indeed open. Our hikers were equal to it, and we continued our way to the old six-inch gun that was left on the northern shore of George Island by the U.S. Army. As luck would have it, the showers were just passing through – certainly not enough to dampen our spirits after a full day of exploring Alaska’s rugged, wildlife-rich, coastal islands!

Before retiring for our evening activities, Dana Filipini took a group of Global Explorers out for Zodiac driving lessons with Second Mate Jenna.