Dawn broke unassumingly, like an eagle pausing briefly on a cerulean blue iceberg, seemingly without a care in the world. We glided past nature’s sculpted ice castles as scotters, murrelets and loons flew furtively over the scalloped surface of the sea. The thunderous calvings of the glacier were underscored by the occasional call of a seal pup, voicing an undecipherable concern. Countless unnamed waterfalls cascaded around us in every direction. Their origins were all unique and unseen, but their destinations all shared as one.
National Geographic Sea Bird
We woke up to a brisk and slightly windy morning. We anchored in the protection of Granite Cove on George Island to serve as a basecamp for our morning activities. Our explorers had their first taste of on-water, independent exploration through kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. Navigating through kelp, our explorers enjoyed a dry morning with high clouds and calm waters – a welcome treat! The group split into a series of hikes that included a photo walk with our photography experts, a short hike and interpretive stroll with seasoned naturalists, and a longer walk through the temperate rainforest to a World War II site. From the high point of the longer walk, our explorers were able to see signs of the sights to come – sea otters, Steller sea lions, and even a faraway glacier. Our ship repositioned only four miles to take us to the majestic Inian Islands. Still gifted with unbelievably good weather and a light wind that kept the fog at bay, we set off on a series of Zodiac cruises. The Steller sea lions were playing in the water or hauled out on rocks. The young ones tried their fins at sparring. Sea otters and their new pups played in the bull kelp. It was a stellar day to cruise around, take in the brisk Alaskan air, and enjoy all that the wildlife had to offer.