Tongass National Forest, where the forest meets the sea. This morning, we were lucky enough to spend time deep in the beautiful forest of Skanáx Bay. This was the first time I was here after the bay was renamed in favor of its Tlingit name, so it was a great reminder of the Indigenous stewardship of this area since time immemorial; this stewardship remains in full force today.
Guests headed off on multiple hiking options this morning, and I had the pleasure of taking the most adventurous of the bunch on a bushwhack. Bushwhacks are one of my favorite activities in Southeast Alaska. The goal is to go into the forest without relying on trails, get lost, and then navigate the way back. At points along the way, guests crawl on all fours, jump across valleys, and get at least one branch to the face. When we return to the ship, lots of stuff from the forest is still attached to us! It is always a good time. More sensible guests explored the beautiful intertidal zone and were treated to sand lances, sun stars, and multiple crab species. A mink even showed up!
This afternoon, we had a special guest speaker come on board. Dr. Andy Szabo from the Alaska Whale Foundation gave us an update on the research his organization is doing on the area’s humpback whales. And it’s almost like he called the whales, as we were treated to great views of humpbacks all afternoon as we sailed north towards Icy Strait. Our divers got a chance to don their drysuits and show us the beautiful undersea world!
Another wonderful day in my favorite place on the planet, Southeast Alaska.