We started off our first day exploring Southeast Alaska by cruising through Sergius Narrows, where we were greeted by bald eagles, sea otters, and even a humpback whale that breached just off the bow of National Geographic Venture. After a morning of cruising through some windy and rainy Southeast Alaskan weather, we pulled into a more protected area to go onshore at Ushk Bay. A light rain allowed us to test out all our rain gear as we hopped into Zodiacs and crossed choppy waters to get to shore. Luckily, we escaped the blustery winds into the warm environment of the temperate rainforest. It was a great day for exploring and learning about the many trees, mosses, and plants that make up the Tongass National Forest of Southeast Alaska.
National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest arose amidst light clouds within the protected waters of Ushk Bay. This area is known for a salmon stream and yields plenty of opportunity for kayaking and exploring the vast meadows of its inner waterways. On this day’s occasion, guests were able to hike and paddle their way along the coast of Ushk Bay and witness firsthand the life cycle of Pacific salmon making their way upstream. As we transited through Peril Strait, we were lucky to see humpback whales. These immense mammals were “lunge feeding” very near our ship. Being able to witness this event was unique for guests and staff. Lunge feeding is process through which individual whales push their gaping mouths through the surface and collect any fish or planktonic invertebrates in the process. Witnessing this behavior was truly a remarkable experience for all. We will cherish this moment for a lifetime.