Today was an exciting day for all on National Geographic Quest when we visited the small Norwegian fishing village, Petersburg, Alaska. Several activities filled the day, including a chance to go on a guided biking tour around town, a hike through a muskeg with Lindblad naturalists, and a Zodiac tour of the active fishing harbor. A surprise treat was being able to gaze underwater at the colorful invertebrate sea life attached to the pilings and docks in the harbor, as well as along the shoreline at low tide. Undersea specialist, Christine West, used an ROV or underwater drone to explore the marine life sitting just beneath our feet. She presented a video of her findings in the evening. It was a busy day filled with laughs and seeing new places, one we won’t soon forget!
National Geographic Venture
Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park is the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit clans. Covering over three million acres of land, this striking environment lends itself well to discussions about primary succession, a characteristic of temperate rainforests and glaciation. National Geographic Venture started its day with hikes and photography instruction around Bartlett Cove. The ship’s naturalists discussed various aspects of primary succession and temperate rainforests while finding baneberry, fiddleheads, and morel mushrooms. The hikes ended with observing the preserved skeleton of a whale named Snow, a humpback whale killed by a ship strike in 2001. Once all crew and guests were on board, the ship ventured farther into Glacier Bay National Park. Along the way, we observed incredible sightings of humpback whales, Steller sea lions, sea otters, tufted puffins, bald eagles, and a variety of other animals. Farther north, we passed by Gloomy Knob where guests and staff spotted mountain goats whose white fur contrasted well with the dark rocky habitat. Finally, guests and staff celebrated the end of another magical day in Southeast Alaska with cocktail hour while viewing Margerie Glacier calving. The incredible landscape of Southeast Alaska, and particularly Glacier Bay, is an awe-inspiring world that lends itself to exploration and conservation.