National Geographic Sea Bird arrived in the town of Haines in the upper reaches of the Lynn Canal at 6:00 a.m. Once tied up dockside, morning announcements were made for a busy day of activities, including hiking, fly fishing, bike rides, river floats, and a visit to Klukwan. Klukwan is the political and cultural center for the Tlingit people. The Cultural Center in Klukwan houses three of many clan houses that are centered in the small Tlingit village. The central clan house exhibited at this center is the Whale House, considered the most important piece of ancestral carving that exists along the Northwest Coast. More than 200 years old, the pre-contact carving shows the vibrance and resilience of the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast of North America. We were escorted by traditional Tlingit carvers who shared not just their culture but also the stories and songs connected to all the regalia and traditional carvings housed in this center. This was followed by a long river float down the braided Chilkat River.

The remainder of the day was consumed with a myriad of activities with everyone enjoying Haines and the Chilkoot Inlet.