After a beautiful and restful night at anchor outside of Sitka in Beehive Cove, we awoke. With our bodies and minds recharged after our previous day of travel, we set sail to Sergius Narrows and Peril Strait – a narrow waterway that meanders its way between Baranof and Chichagof Islands in Southeast Alaska. Humpback whales entertained us with their breathing as we made our way to our afternoon destination of Sitkoh Bay. Sitkoh Bay is on the southeast corner of Chichagof Island, and it serves as a magnificent reminder that even an area that has been clear-cut in its past can rebound when left untouched by man. We spent our afternoon hiking in this spectacular area – witnessing new growth forest, banana slugs, bald eagles, and brown bears. We frolicked amongst them, breathed in the rich fresh air that surrounded us, and gained new perspectives on life in this spectacular temperate rainforest. With more days to come, our desires for nature were satiated for the day. Thank you, Southeast Alaska!
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.