Our day began in a beautiful, secluded little bay known as Port Althorp. Here, our guests had incredible opportunities to get out and explore the magical temperate rainforest, kayak among the harbor seals, and wander in the meadow around an extremely active salmon stream. This is a great time of year to explore the shoreline and visit any of the numerous productive salmon streams in Southeast Alaska.
We had a large group of people who were eager to get out on their first “bushwack” in the Tongass National Forest. At 17 million acres, the Tongass is the largest national forest in the U.S. Today we explored its pristine beauty, using only natural game trails. There is something very special about being in a place so wild! We found many interesting plants and witnessed pink and chum salmon completing their cycle of life as they returned to the very stream where their life began.
After another fabulous meal aboard
National Geographic Venture
, we got out on Zodiacs to explore the vibrant waters around the Inian Islands. The currents can be very strong here, as this is one of the three main entrances to the Inside Passage from the Gulf of Alaska. As the tide changes, massive amounts of water flow through these narrow channels, which brings an abundant amount of marine life to the area. We had an amazing experience with very curious Steller sea lions swimming all around our Zodiacs inching closer and closer. It was truly magical to have such a close encounter with the largest sea lion species in the world.
After dinner, just as we thought the day was coming to an end, the Captain spotted a group of humpbacks just ahead. We all gathered on the bow and watched a herd of 10-15 individuals group their catch. We listened to their trumpeting and powerful exhales and watched in amazement as a young calf breached just in front of the bow. Wow!