Like every week in Southeast Alaska, this week onboard National Geographic Quest has been unlike any other. But perhaps the most special part of this trip is the fact that of the 103 passengers onboard, 28 of them are Global Explorers, a title earned by the participation in additional activities onboard, such as a plankton tows and dedicated field notetaking.
The Global Explorer program was built on the National Geographic Learning Framework, created to recognize specific traits of an explorer. True to the character of the explorers that have inspired us in the past, today’s explorers are “curious and adventurous, responsible for others and the natural world, empowered and persistent in the face of challenges…and can observe and document the world around them.”
This week, not only did we have several Global Explorers onboard, but were fortunate to also be guided in the adventure with National Geographic education fellow, Anne Lewis. Both Anne’s enthusiasm and that of our Global Explorers has been contagious: Each of us has been reminded of the inherent curiosity we all possess and we have let it run wild! From licking banana slugs to working together to navigate the non-trailed terrain through the unknown to discovering natural wonders like beaver dams, we made keen observations in an effort to collaborate in putting together pieces of the mysterious wilderness puzzle we have been so fortunate to experience.
Today in Sitkoh Bay, the week of exploration culminated in a beautiful day of sunshine and a variety of ways to appreciate this place that tells so many tales of both the natural and cultural history of Southeast Alaska. As we sail into the sunset through the Sturgess Narrows on our way to Sitka, we share our stories of the day’s many adventures and reflect on an incredible journey exploring the coastal wilderness of Southeast Alaska onboard National Geographic Quest.