For the first time in 16 months we’re posting Daily Expedition Reports from Alaska aboard National Geographic Sea Bird. This simple act—the ordinary telling of the truth about an expedition day, as we have for decades—feels momentous. We are jumping for joy—knowing National Geographic Sea Bird is on the move and guests are having the extraordinary experiences we have waited so long to provide. – The Lindblad Expeditions Team
We awoke this morning anchored in Behm Narrows off the northern end of Revillagegado Island. The waters of the narrows were tinted a milky grey from the glacial outflow from the nearby Unuk River. Steep mountains rose up either side of us clad in the thick verdant blanket of the Tongass National Rainforest.
After breakfast and brief safety orientations we boarded our inflatable boats and motored to the beach. Sedges brushed our shins as we stepped delicately on slippery rocks and seaweed, moving towards the towering conifers and the understory beneath. Under the spreading arms of western hemlock, Sitka spruce, and red cedar we followed in the footsteps of deer, bears, and wolves, their movements stamped into the dense mud.
Back aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird we dined in style, watching the trees slip by as we motored first east then south into Misty Fjords National Monument. With every mile the mountains became steeper and more dramatic, the steadily rising until they towered over 3,000 feet above the water. As the afternoon light peaked through the low clouds, we rounded into Walker Cove. Sheer granite cliffs carved by glaciers quickly rose up around us, waterfalls sheeting down between the trees and bushes clinging to the barest amount of soil. We once again boarded our inflatable boats, this time to cruise up the eight miles of the fjord. The Sea Bird motored ahead of us and spotted our first bears of the trip. Two coastal brown bears peeked above the grass, grazing on the sedges. We approached slowly, our voices hushed, as they moved languidly along the forest’s edge. It quickly became apparent that it was a mother and a second-year cub, with mom keeping a close eye on us as we watched them with giddy attention.
We left mom and cub to continue their grazing to follow the winding cove until it ended in two large valleys. A loon serenaded us, the mountains faded into hazy clouds, and the Sea Bird waited for us at the end of the fjord, a perfect end to a perfect first day of exploration.