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
The bridge team of National Geographic Venture anchored the vessel in a bay protected from the winds and waves of the open ocean. The waters near the Inian Islands are known for heavy currents and extreme waves. The Inian Islands are located in the heart of Cross Sound, one of two entryways for the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Two tides coming in and out each day cause an enormous volume of water to pass through this area, which in turn brings cold, nutrient-rich water up towards the surface. These nutrients stimulate growth and lay the foundation for a robust food web. All sorts of animals come to this location to enjoy the spoils – including killer whales. Our guests were invited aboard Zodiacs this morning to explore the diverse, wild habitats. Fox Creek proved incredibly enjoyable as an afternoon activity. We spent time hiking through a beach meadow with grasses as tall as an adult human. This area was full of bear trails that led each group to a different spot: beach meadow, intertidal, forest floor, streambed, and even to a waterfall. We bushwhacked through the bear trails and found many interesting sights, including perennial bear tracks. These tracks persist year after year as bears make their way to the intertidal zones from their wintering dens. A truly magnificent journey led each of us to a special place just for us. Somewhere we could enjoy true wild Alaska. We are thankful for this day.