Pavlov Harbor in Freshwater Bay, Chichagof Island
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 05 Aug 2022

Pavlov Harbor in Freshwater Bay, Chichagof Island, 8/5/2022, National Geographic Venture

  • Aboard the National Geographic Venture
  • Alaska

It is day six of our trip, the final full morning of operations before we sail to Sitka. We have missed seeing good views of brown bears. Our expedition leader has a plan that ends up giving us views of bears beyond what we hoped for. Breakfast is early before we hustle to shuttle guests to shore. A ten-minute hike around the point and up the small salmon river is the setting for a fabulous show. There are five brown bears! We observe a pair of subadults and a sow with cubs. At one point, the more aggressive of the cubs starts an unearthly growling noise and tries to nurse on his mum. She is hungry and focused on fishing, and she gives a much louder and more aggressive growl in response, as if to say, “Dinner is ready when I say it is!” The youngster gets the message, and the family moves on. This opportunity to watch such wildlife in silence is a gem within the trip. We witness two successful catches of silver salmon and must refrain from cheering for the bear’s reward. There is much to contemplate as we sail through stormy weather back to port.

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