Undeterred by the rainy weather, our expedition team arrived ready for exploration at the captivating Inian Islands. Anchored in the pristine waters, we looked forward to the exciting day ahead.

A welcome surprise greeted us as we anchored – a humpback whale gracefully feeding nearby, ultimately swimming closer and closer as we watched intently. This encounter set the tone for our day, fueling our enthusiasm to see what else the Inian Islands had to offer.

Navigating the channels in our Zodiacs, we watched as pigeon guillemots, pelagic cormorants, gulls, and bald eagles soared overhead. The ever-productive waters of these islands produce plenty of baitfish for all these species – and more – to enjoy. The lively scene continued as we came across a colony of Steller sea lions lounging on rocks and playfully swimming around us. Their antics and distinct calls added to the fascination of our expedition.

In the afternoon, our plans for a hike in the nearby Dundas Bay took an unexpected turn when we spotted a brown bear on the shore. We maintained a safe distance aboard our boats, observing the bear's movements with admiration. After it departed, we resumed our activities and embarked on a scenic hike through the lush rainforest. Towering spruce and hemlock provided a stunning backdrop as we immersed ourselves in the sights and sounds of this special ecosystem.

Returning to the comfort of National Geographic Quest, we sought shelter from the rain and gathered for warm drinks, our traditional recap session, and a delicious dinner. The precipitation, or “liquid sunshine” as we like to call it, contributed to our immersion in the temperate rainforest.

Another memorable day in the books as we set sail for Glacier Bay tomorrow.

Happy trails!