We were rewarded for a bumpy ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca when we woke up to Victoria’s skyline gracing our view this morning. We headed into port and docked at the cruise ship terminal on Ogden Point. After Health Canada reviewed our documents regarding COVID protocols, we set off eagerly on a variety of adventures to explore this gem of the Salish Sea. Guests chose from a biking tour of the downtown core, a historic walking tour, a visit to a variety of private gardens, or a cultural canoe tour of the Inner Harbor. I opted for the last one and had a wonderful experience, as did the guests.
National Geographic Quest
Lake Eva and Peril Strait
After a morning that threatened rain, the clouds lifted just enough to see the top of the hills that surround Hanus Bay and the river that flows from Lake Eva. We landed on the beach as the tide rose, stepping gingerly over large fields of blue mussels and razor clams before finding the U.S. Forest Service trail that leads to the lake. Later in the summer, these waters are filled with returning pink, coho, and sockeye salmon, which feed not only the brown bears of Chichagof Island, but the forest as well. More than 70% of the nitrogen these trees need comes from the returning salmon as they are dragged through the woods by hungry bears, eagles, ravens, and scavengers. All too quickly, it was time to lift the anchor, and National Geographic Quest wound its way towards Peril Strait, Sitka, and the end of our two-week long adventure. A final beautiful evening on deck served as a perfect capstone to an unforgettable journey that began in the urban cities of Washington and British Columbia and has concluded amongst some of the wildest places left on Earth.