We woke up to a beautiful Southeast Alaskan day here aboard National Geographic Sea Lion today. Cloud cover hung low over the trees as we began docking in Wrangell. We were woken up early as we had a jam-packed day of activities.
After breakfast, we set off for the dock to board the incoming jet boats for a cruise up the Stikine River. These boats have incredibly powerful engines and have been fitted to sail in the very shallow waters that can exist during large tidal swings. It was amazing to observe harbor seals hauled out on sandbars and bald eagles sitting atop grounded trees.
As we sailed up the river, we learned about the history of Wrangell and the surrounding area. We stopped at a cabin for a break and stepped into this incredible old growth forest. Once back on board, we sailed up the river and observed the mountain range in the background. As we arrived at Shakes Lake, we could finally see the beautiful ice field in front of us. This area is dotted with icebergs that are grounded due to the sandbar, and we were given the chance to actually walk across the iceberg. This was a special moment that will not soon be forgotten.
We then raced back down the river to the dock and were taken back to the ship for a delicious lunch before heading out for our afternoon operations.
In the afternoon, we explored the town of Wrangell. We were given the option of learning about the Tlingit indigenous peoples at Chief Shakes Tribal House, visiting Petroglyph Beach, hiking Mount Dewey, or wandering around the town. All in all, it was an amazing day and one we won’t soon forget.