The final day of our glorious expedition to Southeast Alaska culminated in Sitkoh Bay on Chichagof Island. A long, narrow bay on the west side of Chatham Straight, Sitkoh is the capstone of our journey together, complete with beautiful scenery and natural, geologic, ancient, and modern human history. On long walks, we took in the magical meadow at the mouth of the river that feeds into the bay, and moderate walkers explored the forest. A secret activity for only the Global Explorers (those 18 and under) took place in the morning, wherein they were permitted (under close supervision) to learn to drive an Expedition Landing Craft, or Zodiac. Thrills were enjoyed by all. In the afternoon, we explored Chatham Strait and caught sight of two male killer whales moving together in what could have been a hunting/fishing party. During the evening, we navigated through the narrow and scenic Peril Straight and Sergius Narrows on our way to Sitka.
National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest arose amidst light clouds within the protected waters of Ushk Bay. This area is known for a salmon stream and yields plenty of opportunity for kayaking and exploring the vast meadows of its inner waterways. On this day’s occasion, guests were able to hike and paddle their way along the coast of Ushk Bay and witness firsthand the life cycle of Pacific salmon making their way upstream. As we transited through Peril Strait, we were lucky to see humpback whales. These immense mammals were “lunge feeding” very near our ship. Being able to witness this event was unique for guests and staff. Lunge feeding is process through which individual whales push their gaping mouths through the surface and collect any fish or planktonic invertebrates in the process. Witnessing this behavior was truly a remarkable experience for all. We will cherish this moment for a lifetime.