This morning we woke to another classic Southeast Alaska morning with the mist rising from Wrangell Narrows as we passed Stellar sealions pulled out on the marker buoys guiding our entrance to Petersburg. Those wanting to stretch their legs headed over to the muskeg and mountain hikes on adjacent Kupreanof Island. Whilst others stayed on the Mitkof Island to tour Petersburg by bike or the diverse fishing boats in the harbor by Zodiac. Petersburg has long been a fishing town, taking advantage of the abundant local fish populations as well as the proximity to LeConte Glacier. Icebergs flowing away from the glacier provided a means to freeze the fish for transport to more distant markets, and Petersburg, the town that fish built, got its mark on the map.
National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest arose amidst light clouds within the protected waters of Ushk Bay. This area is known for a salmon stream and yields plenty of opportunity for kayaking and exploring the vast meadows of its inner waterways. On this day’s occasion, guests were able to hike and paddle their way along the coast of Ushk Bay and witness firsthand the life cycle of Pacific salmon making their way upstream. As we transited through Peril Strait, we were lucky to see humpback whales. These immense mammals were “lunge feeding” very near our ship. Being able to witness this event was unique for guests and staff. Lunge feeding is process through which individual whales push their gaping mouths through the surface and collect any fish or planktonic invertebrates in the process. Witnessing this behavior was truly a remarkable experience for all. We will cherish this moment for a lifetime.