Time and tide wait for no man, or ship for that matter. They dictate the start of our day which begins with our passage through the Sturgis Narrows. Intimate views of the coastal meadows and forest for those out on the decks. Birders are birding, whale watchers watching, and naturalist naturalizing; all of which sets up an underlying melody for the day. The afternoon finds us anchored in the Lake Eva area, a fantastic place for hikes and Zodiac tours. A plethora of fungus abound on the forest floor among the old growth due to the rains. Salmon pulse in the bays and streams, some beginning their final push to reproduce, while others have completed their cycle and begin to complement the next.
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.