We docked early this morning in the small Southeast Alaska town of Petersburg. A true fishing town, this community is built on the sustainable harvest of salmon, halibut, and crab. With very few cruise vessels making port, Petersburg is as authentic a fishing town as they come. The docks around National Geographic Quest were busy, with the majority of the resident fleet tied up in their home slips. Men and women hauled gear up and down the docks. We arrived at a pivotal time in the year, as the industry transitions from the winter longline fishery that focuses on halibut, cod, and rockfish to the summer salmon runs and Dungeness crab opener.
There were several fun options for activities today. Some guests took a leisurely bike tour around town, explored the active fishing marina by Zodiac tour, or joined local Native Alaskan guides on a tour. Many of us ventured to Kupreanof Island to walk along narrow boardwalk trails to explore the forest and the coastal muskegs, a soggy, peat bog ecosystem with unique plants species that have curious and carnivorous adaptations.
The beautifully warm, overcast day, so characteristic of Southeast Alaska, was perfect for enjoying the town. We strolled down the main street and mingled with locals in the afternoon before returning to the ship for a delicious crab feast and a rousing game of Alaska natural history themed Jeopardy.