After a remarkable first day spent in Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness, the guests aboard
National Geographic Sea Lion
woke up to another stunning morning as we sailed through Frederick Sound. The calm waters made early morning viewing from the bow exceptional. There were many species of birds pointed out by the naturalists as they flocked about the surface and a pair of Dahls porpoises were spotted as we made our turn into the channel towards the fishing town of Petersburg.
Petersburg was established in 1897 by a Norwegian pioneer named Peter Bushman. When he realized ice from the nearby LeConte Glacier could be used to pack fish, he built the Icy Strait Packing Company, with a dock and a sawmill. What began as his personal homestead slowly grew into a town, and by 1920, 600 people lived in Petersburg. Today, the town boasts a year-round population of some 3,000 residents. On average, over 70 million pounds of fish and shellfish crosses the docks each year, making Petersburg one of the top ports in the country.
After breakfast, we began our full day of exploration and activities in Petersburg. There were dock walks to learn about the numerous types of fishing vessels that called this port home, and a photo walk to capture the essence of a small fishing town. Others explored the different landscape of a muskeg to learn about the special plants, some carnivorous, that only grow in that environment. Multiple rounds of flightseeing by floatplane proved to be a popular choice on this sunny day, as was free time to explore the town more, or spend some time relaxing on the ship. People returned from their hikes, walks, and flightseeing with smiles on their faces and many stories were shared on board. Cocktail hour and recapitulation, a Lindblad Expeditions tradition, followed once all were aboard, and a bountiful Dungeness crab feast dinner was enjoyed that was prepared by the talented galley team. As if all of that wasn’t enough, the day climaxed with killer whales at sunset! What a fantastic day in Petersburg!