In the early hours, National Geographic Venture made its way through Chatham Strait, turned into Peril Strait, and settled in Ushk Bay for the day’s activities. Massive smacks (groups) of jellyfish were observed in the clear sea water as everyone approached the shore in Zodiacs. Various levels and lengths of hikes took off over the tidal flats and many also spent time in the forest. Others chose to partake in kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding. After lunch onboard, the Global Explorers learned how to drive Zodiacs and then everyone who wanted to take the Alaska Plunge jumped into Ushk Bay. The ship sailed through Sergius Narrows on the way to our final destination, Sitka.
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.