This morning our expedition ship brought us to an anchorage in a sheltered cove of the Inian Islands. These islands reside within Icy Strait, so named by explorer George Vancouver in 1794 for the massive amounts of glacial ice choking this passage during his voyage. Today the ice is gone, but the fjord is still an area of intensive oceanic and wildlife activity. Strong tidal changes create conditions ideal for Steller sea lions, bald eagles, sea otters, and gulls to capture prey. The clouds ebb and flow like the tides, sometimes bringing rain, sometimes bringing rays of sunshine.
National Geographic Sea Lion
This morning, I overheard a comment from a guest to her partner, who had just joined us on the bow. “I was worried about you, but not worried enough to come find you,” she said. Those of us around her had to laugh. We understood. No one wanted to walk away, fear of missing anything. A very active group of transient (Bigg’s) killer whales captured our attention, moving fast, splashing, hunting, spy-hopping. They had already been preceded by pre-breakfast sighting of humpback whales, and those awake earlier enough saw a salmon shark. Our afternoon comprised kayaking and introductions to the Southeast Alaska rainforest with hikes at Lake Eva. What a day! Another comment overheard on the bow today: “We are setting the bar too high on Day One.”