To begin our Alaskan journey, we explored the secluded fjords and glaciers of Tracy Arm and Fords Terror Wilderness. Later in the week we will search for wildlife in remote places like Glacier Bay National Park and the Tongass National Forest. So today’s adventures in the small fishing village of Petersburg, Alaska were a unique opportunity to experience the rich culture of the region. The town is populated almost entirely by fishermen who make their living off the salmon and halibut that fill the waters, and everything is centered around the fishing industry because of it. Guests explored the many varieties of fishing vessels lining the docks, photographed the unique details of the buildings and the fishermen returning with their daily catch, and even hiked various trails around the town. Together, these activities gave us an idea of how the people of Southeast Alaska are able to thrive off the land and waters of the wilderness we have been exploring.
National Geographic Quest
Our sail into Petersburg this morning was spent enjoying the beautiful sunshine on the bow. Sea lions piled high on the channel markers. Gulls—mew, Bonaparte, and glaucous-winged— greeted us. Petersburg was established in 1890, when a Norwegian entrepreneur named Peter Bushman came to the area and had the brilliant idea to pack the fish he caught on glacial ice calved off the LeConte Glacier for shipping to people in the lower 48. Across the waterway from Petersburg, Kupernof Island is home to a bog ecosystem called a muskeg. There are many unique things found here, including the sundew, a carnivorous plant. Today, mountain hikes, muskeg walks, harbor tours by Zodiac, and biking around Mitkof Island allowed us to experience all that Petersburg has to offer, while admiring its small town charm.