The weather changed slightly overnight, from sunny and hot in Ketchikan for our departure, to partly cloudy in the morning for our travel through Misty Fjords National Monument. By the end of the evening, water droplets permeated the air and visibility dropped to very low. The contrast in weather and enduring its shifts made this system’s dynamic nature very clear. Wow, was it hot when we boarded the ship. Now it’s wet, and the surrounding environment is invisible.
The ocean was so calm in Walker’s Cove that we spent the whole morning leaving our mothership and exploring the area by much smaller vessels – kayak and Zodiac. When we began paddling, the ocean was flat and still, matching the sky and frequently reflecting the surrounding forest. The tide was quite low, and the ocean’s visibility was not deep. Yet through the green sea and floating particulate, we saw a few tiny sea stars clinging to the cliffs underwater. While traveling during low tide, we got to smell the scent of the exposed mussels, barnacles, and popweed. We also got to look up at the forest growing on the steep cliff right above our heads, parted by waterfalls.
After transitioning from human power in kayaks to motorized power in Zodiacs, we could travel a longer distance in Walker’s Cove. We nosed into waterfalls and felt their mist. We coasted along the shoreline at both slow and fast speeds. Toward the end of our explorations, a brown bear was spotted. We watched the small bear with its long ears lifted as it sat in the green grasses behind the beach. It didn’t seem to mind us, and it didn’t move much. We were able to watch the bear as it lifted and lowered its head. It appeared to be a young but independent bear.
As the day and evening matured, we continued to travel through Misty Fjords. Eventually, we passed through the northerly, narrow entrance of Behm Canal. There, we spotted more black bears from the ship, and at the same time, the moisture started to set in. The evening’s weather was the opposite of yesterday’s weather, and it became more overcast through the evening.