National Geographic Sea Lion was met with a flurry of excited guests. After a few days on land, we were all thrilled to get back on the water. Smiling guests hurried to their rooms to unpack and prepare for safety drills. The morning brought our guests to the forward lounge. We introduced them to the hospitality crew and the expedition staff, two sides of the same coin designed for excellent guest experience. Two of our naturalists on staff, Steve and Sharon, gave presentations on how to utilize a smart phone as a camera and an introduction to photographing the Pacific Northwest Coast.

Our Captain and Expedition Leader gathered their resources to offer the first excursion of the trip: a Zodiac cruise between San Juan and Lopez Islands. Inflatable boats were lowered over the side of the ship and loaded with bundled-up guests. A current of 3 knots met the small boats as we made our way to the first charismatic megafauna of the trip–harbor seals! We saw a group of thirty or so huddled together on the beach. Some of them expressed interest in us and came close for a quick visit. A truly marvelous day to begin our adventure!