Today we immersed ourselves in the beauty of boat life, cruising through one of British Columbia’s most scenic channels. This serpentine arm of the Inside Passage is called “Place where strong currents flow” in Tsimshian language, spoken by First Nations Peoples, Kitselas and Ktsumkalum. The channel is called “Place of many winds” in the Kitkatla language. On some maps, the channel is called Grenville Channel, for William Wyndham Grenville, a British politician and statesman from the late 18th century.
In the morning, National Geographic expert Ashli Akins delivered an eloquent talk on the importance of honoring cultural sustainability within First Nations communities. She offered a nuanced explanation of how Indigenous communities navigate the difficult task of cultural rejuvenation, providing salient examples of how non-Indigenous people can respectfully and effectively support their success.
After celebrating Mother’s Day with a memorable brunch, we scanned the channel for marine megafauna before settling down for a talk on marine mammal adaptations delivered by naturalist Zoey Greenberg. Educational talks continued with naturalist Kimberly Woods’ delivery of “Follow That Tail,” which was all about the marvelous migrations of humpback whales. Afterwards, she led a “Wine and Watercolor” event, teaching guests and staff how to paint a whale tail. Our collective creations were proudly displayed in the world premiere of the “Follow That Tail Watercolor Gallery,” located just outside the forward lounge.
Our day concluded with a boisterous recap on impressive mothers in the animal kingdom, including killer whale matriarchs, spiny dogfish (with a gestation period of two years), and turkey vultures, whose familial bonds supersede most animals in their endearing and devoted qualities. Finally, we enjoyed a presentation from our dive team, Rachel Crane and Ayla Townsend. The day was full, our bonding was real, and the ship sailed into the sunset on her way to discover more treasures of the Inside Passage.