The final full day of our Alaskan adventure began in Pavlof Harbor, a place originally named by Russian fur traders. Our wildlife sightings started before breakfast, with our early risers watching a brown bear roam the shore as they enjoyed their morning coffee. We went ashore and split into smaller groups to explore with several different hikes.

We arrived at low tide, so the beach was covered with rockweed and sea stars. We met Pavlof River where it empties into the ocean, and we walked along the water’s edge until we reached a roaring waterfall. From there, we plunged into the forest for a wild hike through the temperate rainforest.

We were surrounded by towering Sitka spruce and western hemlock, and we looked closely at the fallen trees for different species of fungi and lichen. Climbing up the hills, we suddenly found a dramatic change in scenery, as the conifers opened up to reveal a muskeg, a vast bog coated with soggy mosses and beautiful wildflowers. Once we had our fill of photographs, we made our way back down to the ship.

But our pre-lunch activities weren’t over just yet! A dozen brave souls participated in our traditional polar plunge, jumping into the frigid water while the rest of our guests cheered them on from the bow. Hot soup was the perfect thing at lunch after an active morning outdoors.

The afternoon saw us cruising through Chatham Strait, searching for wildlife. The warmest afternoon we’ve had yet was made all the better with intermittent appearances from humpback whales and Dall’s porpoises. After a beautiful final dinner, we rounded out a memorable trip with another tradition, the guest slideshow. It was an amazing week aboard the Sea Bird, and we are all grateful for the friends and memories we’ve made.