Distant whale spouts broke the horizon as National Geographic Venture made headway towards Kasnyku Falls on the east side of Baranof Island. The ship was making its way southbound down Chatham Strait, but we paused to admire the falls before breakfast. Slowly, guests, staff, and crew made visits to the bow to see the waterfall. It was a rare sunny day in Southeast Alaska, where we usually expect overcast and rain for at least part of the day. However, the sun would shine brightly all day, revealing the craggy snowy peaks that tower over forests of hemlocks and spruces.

After breakfast, we welcomed Dr. Andy Zabbo of the Alaska Whale Foundation aboard. Andy is a researcher specializing on Southeastern Alaska’s Humpback Whale preservation. After an engaging discussion, we crossed the straight for Halleck Harbor on Kuiu Island. Here, the crew dropped Zodiacs and set kayaks on the beach. Guests and staff made their way to the shore, and we set off for two rounds of kayaking, paddleboarding, and short hikes. Tidepools invited curious beachcombers while kayakers were able to see sea otters, guillemots, and eagles. Afterwards, staff showed off their favorite shirts by beloved Alaskan artist, Ray Troll, during cocktail hour.