It was a spectacular day in Southeast Alaska. We woke up in Icy Strait on our way to the Inian Islands. Zodiac cruising around the islands is a highlight of any trip to Southeast Alaska. We saw sea otters, sea lions, pelagic cormorants, kittiwakes, bald eagles, and puffins, among many others. After visiting the ecology education center at Tidelines Institute, we hiked George Island. We found a World War II gun used to defend the Inside Passage from the possible attacks from Japan. Some of us then explored the island by kayak. At the end of the day, a brave few did the “Polar Plunge.” During our crab feast, humpback whales fed on herring nearby.
National Geographic Sea Lion
The National Geographic Sea Lion continued through Chatham Strait during the night. Our ship was making its way toward our morning anchorage of Hanus Bay on the northeast tip of Baranof Island. Recently the hiking trail to Lake Eva has been beautifully renovated, allowing for many levels of hikers an opportunity to walk in a wonderfully protected section of temperate rainforest. Forests located on salmon rivers are protected allowing for the successful return of many species of Pacific salmon. We were divided into several levels of hiking and each group made its way up a small hill and into a forest of blow downs, mushrooms, ripe-red huckleberries, feasting squirrels and at least two species of salmon at their final destination, having returned to their natal stream to spawn the next generation of salmon. We walked, we stopped, we observed and heard about a world called a temperate rain forest from our staff. We all made our way up towards Lake Eva, stopping along the way, taking in the stories of all the different components that are part of this unique forest environment. During the afternoon we made our way a short distance to Saook Bay for water activities. Kayaks, paddleboards, and Zodiacs all provided for a chance to explore a quiet hidden bay. The perfect choice as, during the late morning hours, the wind had increased. A little quiet place to spend our afternoon protected, comfortable and safe was a wonderful way to finish our day.