What a beautiful start to our trip in Southeast Alaska! We awoke outside of Sitka to a mix of clouds and dappled sunshine on the water. Spotting gulls and kingfishers, we spent the morning cruising through The Narrows and into Peril Strait. In the afternoon, we got our first introduction to the rain forest at Lake Eva. We hiked and motored around the salmon stream inlet and observed countless eagles in the trees and humpies in the water. Those of us that walked farther into the woods met our first banana slugs and foraged for wild berries on the way up to Lake Eva. It was truly a magical day, a perfect start to what is sure to be a wonderful week here in Southeast.
National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest arose amidst light clouds within the protected waters of Ushk Bay. This area is known for a salmon stream and yields plenty of opportunity for kayaking and exploring the vast meadows of its inner waterways. On this day’s occasion, guests were able to hike and paddle their way along the coast of Ushk Bay and witness firsthand the life cycle of Pacific salmon making their way upstream. As we transited through Peril Strait, we were lucky to see humpback whales. These immense mammals were “lunge feeding” very near our ship. Being able to witness this event was unique for guests and staff. Lunge feeding is process through which individual whales push their gaping mouths through the surface and collect any fish or planktonic invertebrates in the process. Witnessing this behavior was truly a remarkable experience for all. We will cherish this moment for a lifetime.