The town of Wrangell is relatively small in size but grand in charm. National Geographic Sea Lion pulled into port in this quaint town to explore the mix of history, nature, and modern-day culture it has to offer. A day of sunny blue skies and tall, voluminous clouds began with a hike up to the Dewey Mountain Lookout. The town of Wrangell is also home to the largest collection of petroglyphs in Alaska. These 8,000-year-old etchings in rock tell the stories of the area’s Tlingit population. Just across the Zimovia Strait, the Stikine River provided an ideal location to start a jet boat tour up the river. Unlike typical propeller boats, this boat has a draft of about six inches. The jet boat uses jet propulsion of the water beneath to move its way upriver towards Shakes Glacier and Shakes Lake.
National Geographic Sea Lion
On National Geographic Sea Lion , our last full day of the expedition started with a morning full of awe and wonder. First up on the day’s itinerary was cruising for wildlife. Everyone welcomed the day with a phenomenal opportunity to see a spectacular show of humpback whales bubble-net feeding. Underwater specialist Kelly carefully lowered the underwater microphone into the water, and humpback vocalizations added to the magic of the moment, allowing guests to hear the underwater activity of the whales, the calls, and the final command to head up to the surface. At one point, the whales surfaced stunningly right next to the ship, causing awes, oohs, and goosebumps. Our faces hurt from smiling ear to ear after our brilliant morning. We enjoyed a yummy lunch of cheeseburgers and Beyond Burgers. Our afternoon in Pavlof Harbor was just as stellar as our morning adventure. Guests were shuttled by Zodiac to a beach landing at Pavlof Harbor. After a short hike to the waterfalls, guests sat in awe of several coastal grizzly bears who took advantage of the salmon run and snacked on tasty fish. There was a mama and cub, two juveniles, and several larger, more mature bears all strategically placed to catch the tasty meal. On our way to Sitka in the late afternoon, we were graced with an incredible sight as a mama coastal brown bear and her three very new cubs foraged on a beach. Everyone had a delicious dinner prepared by Head Chef Eddie McField, and guests ended the day with the world premiere viewing of the guest slide show. What an incredible adventure! We hope to see everyone back again soon for another expedition! Photo caption and photographer: There were nineteen humpback whales working cooperatively in bubble-net feeding. Photo by Svea Anderson