Our first day started at around 10 p.m. last night with a call from our expedition leader over the PA system. Everyone was in bed, weary from travel, but happily layered up in their warm clothes and came out on deck to behold a fantastic display of the Northern Lights! We watched them dance in ribbons of green, white, and red till early this morning. Once the lights faded, along with our adrenaline, everyone settled down for the night, happy and filled with anticipation for the rest of the trip.
When the ship woke up for the second time today, we found ourselves cruising towards Sitkoh Bay. We were promptly delayed by a group of humpback whales feeding. Everyone was able to witness these amazing animals as they came up to breath between feeding. There was even a mother and calf present! These whales will start migrating south to their breeding grounds within the next month, and they won’t eat for the entire winter.
After leaving the whales we arrived in Sitkoh Bay where we took Zodiacs ashore to explore the temperate rainforest via hikes, and the intertidal via kayaks. Sitkoh Bay was once the location of a logging community, so we were able to follow the old logging roads into the forest. During our hikes we found many types of berries, and a lot of signs of bears!
After leaving Sitkoh Bay we began our cruise out into Chatham Straight to start heading north. Everyone settled down to dinner to discuss all the adventures we had on our first day. However, once again, we were promptly interrupted by wildlife! We called everyone out to the deck because our ship was surrounded by killer whales! The pod was spread out across the entire fjord, but we guesstimate over a dozen killer whales were in the pod! Another ship cruised by while we were watching the killer whales, trailing waves behind it. The killer whales started playing in the waves, jumping all the way out of the water! It was a spectacular way to end of our very first day