Day two aboard National Geographic Sea Lion proved to be another incredible adventure in the great wilderness found in Southeast Alaska. We spent the night sleeping to the sounds of water rushing under the bow of our ship, flowing down the hull, and lulling us into sweet slumbers that help us reset after these days that are full of heightened emotions. When we woke up, long after the sun broke over the horizon, we were beginning to pull into our destination for the morning: Cascade Creek.

After a wonderful breakfast prepared by our galley and hotel crew, guests took off for their adventures. They took a short Zodiac ride to a nearby beach and geared up for a hike around the shore, into the temperate rainforest, and along a cascading, rapid-filled river. Guests chose from several different styles of hiking experiences, ranging from a casual, photography-themed hike to a strenuous, aerobic-themed hike. On all excursions, our natural history staff led the explorers through an indescribably vibrant green forest covered in dew from the misty clouds floating along throughout the morning. A roaring waterfall sent a constant wall of wet wind into the air.

The weather was as Alaskan as the weather could be, with bright grey skies sending down showers of rain every so often as a cool breeze danced through the trees. We felt extremely lucky to be able to explore such a stunning part of Alaskan wilderness this morning, but our adventures didn’t end there. After lunch, we covered some sea in the ship, traversing different channels in search of wildlife. In a wonderful stroke of luck, we came upon humpback whales as they glided up to the ocean’s surface to bellow into the sky. Soon after, the experience escalated as we witnessed humpback whales racing upwards from the depths of the sea and throwing themselves into the air in a truly awesome act known as breaching.

The day never seemed to stop causing wide smiles to cross our faces. It was capped off with an exquisite Dungeness crab feast hosted by our galley and hotel crew, which was paired with recaps and a presentation from our naturalists. We are grateful for another indescribable day here aboard National Geographic Sea Lion, and we are very much looking forward to our day of adventure in Wrangell tomorrow.