Just after midnight, in the first minutes of the day, guests rose from their sleep to witness an amazing phenomenon, the Aurora Borealis. A bright moon, stars and the Milky Way added to the show. After dawn, at breakfast, we cruised into the north arm of Holkham Bay. Tracy Arm is a majestic, jade-watered fjord home to Sawyer and South Sawyer Glaciers. Dense rock resisted erosion and created the steep sides and deep water of this fjord. Near the face of South Sawyer Glacier, harbor seals peppered the floating ice. We cruised the northern extension of the fjord towards Sawyer Glacier, then back out into Chatham Strait in hopes of more wildlife.
National Geographic Quest
Inian Islands and Fox Creek
This morning, National Geographic Quest anchored in the Inian Islands. While wellness specialist Sokie started her early morning stretching class on the sundeck, we had the first surprise of the day – three humpback whales came close to the ship to greet us. After breakfast, Zodiacs were deployed, and we made our way to explore the islands. We went to Bird Island first, a rock full of seabirds, including glaucous-winged gulls, pelagic cormorants, and pigeon guillemots. We passed by an enormous colony of Steller sea lions that came close to the Zodiacs, swimming underneath us and playing with the strong waves and currents. Our guests enjoyed this abundance of life as we continued to the north side where we saw a blow. Two humpback whales were feeding in the area, and Dall’s porpoises moved quickly in the distance. Everywhere we looked was full of life. The whales went for a deeper and longer dive, and while we waited for them to come back up, we saw more blows farther away. This time it was orcas! We got closer and saw a pod of four transient orcas passing. Our guests couldn’t have been happier or more astounded. In the afternoon, we repositioned to Fox Creek to go kayaking and on different hikes. A photo and bird walk were led by photo instructor Iván and naturalist Zoey. Our guests really enjoyed exploring the lush temperate forest. They had opportunities to practice the photography tips learned throughout the voyage and to hear the bird calls they have come to recognize. It was a spectacular day in Southeast Alaska.