Traveling through Chatham Strait on National Geographic Sea Lion, our morning started with a hazy horizon and what looked like pastel colors melting across the sky. The naturalists scanned the waterline, on a mission to spot a Northwest Pacific humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). As we approached Morris Reef, naturalist Sarah spotted a spout in the distance. At long last – a whale! Heading towards the humpback, guests noticed streaking black and white bodies zooming around the boat. Dall’s porpoises (Phocoenoides dalli) decided to join our expedition. Excited to catch a glimpse of our speedy friends, guests peered over the bow. A morning with a humpback and some Dall’s porpoises was a day well spent, but the day’s excitement had barely begun.
While scoping the coastline in the afternoon, a brown bear (Ursus arctos) was spotted! Shaded by overhanging trees, the brown bear was foraging for some delectable treats, but not to be upstaged by the humpback from earlier, the bear started to strut out into the sun. Its honey-colored face was highlighted against the dark shaggy hump on its back, and with the help of some binoculars we made out its facial features.
For the afternoon activities, guests were invited to join a hike or kayak along the shoreline of Kasynku Bay. After parsing their way through the trail, the hikers were greeted by a stunning view of Lake Eva. Photo instructor Alex had everyone take a moment of silence surrounded by the serene beauty of the lake. Other guests soaked up some rays, exploring the bay with kayaks and paddleboards. The water was stunningly clear, and crabs were spotted scuttling around the bottom.
Although the end of the day was drawing near, the fun was still not over. The Global Explorers were given the opportunity to practice their Zodiac skills but were soon shocked when a mother and calf humpback surfaced nearby. Cruising over to get a better look, the Global Explorers were given the surprise of a lifetime when the calf breached out of the water – not once but twice! Screams erupted from everyone, including the naturalists. Some observers from the ship were just as excited to witness this magnificent event.
Back onboard everyone was treated to a fantastic feast, fresh crab! Not much can beat ending the evening with a crab dinner. Everyone went to bed with their stomachs content and their hearts full, ready to dream about tomorrow’s adventures.