Today we woke up to an absolutely beautiful day here in Southeast Alaska. We are currently in one of our favorite spots for wildlife viewing, known as the Inian Islands. There is an abundance of wildlife in this important area where water rushes in from the Pacific Ocean. As the water meets the land, a shelf causes a great deal of upwelling. This brings nutrient rich water from the ocean floor up to the surface. This feeding ground is a hot spot for Steller sea lions, sea otters, and bald eagles, so we were excited to hop in our Zodiacs and head out to explore this incredible ecosystem.
To say that our day was a success would be an understatement! This was a highlight of the trip, and the hardest part of the day was simply deciding where to look as all kinds of wildlife surrounded our Zodiacs. Curious Steller sea lions came right up to us as they played and porpoised on all sides. We could not count the number of bald eagles we spotted, and we were treated to one snatching a fish out of the water right beside us. This is also the perfect time of year to witness sea otters with their new pups nestled in protective kelp forests. Smiles were plentiful, and everyone’s cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing all morning.
After lunch, we went kayaking and hiking on the secluded George Island. Turquoise blue water and lush scenery make it a stunning place to explore. The island has beautiful beaches and a dense hemlock and spruce forest with a gorgeous carpet of moss covering the ground. On our hike, we made it to the site of an old World War 2 gun tucked into the forest. We enjoyed sweeping views as we looked toward the Pacific Ocean and the breathtaking Fairweather Mountain Range.
Back on the ship, laughter and cheers were heard all around as we reminisced about our incredible day here in Southeast Alaska. This is a day that will live in our hearts forever.