Today was the first full day of our expedition aboard National Geographic Sea Bird, and it began in one of the most scenic and naturally beautiful places imaginable: Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness Area (a place as stunning as the name is long). As guests started to wake up, many enjoyed a morning stretch class led by our wellness specialist, while others admired the rising granite walls beginning to surround us. As we traveled up the Behm Canal, the towering cliffs seemed to stretch endlessly to the sky. Peppered with spruces, hemlocks, and alder trees, the area showed an excellent overview of temperate rainforest succession.
After breakfast we ventured off the ship using our favorite mode of exploration: Zodiacs. These inflatable pontoons help us traverse even harder-to-reach places; we safely explored salmon streams, pulled up to cascading waterfalls, and cruised the intertidal coastline, spotting harbor seals and bald eagles throughout. Two rounds of Zodiac tours were an incredible start for our trip together. Guests came back on board with wide smiles and bright eyes.
After a hearty chili lunch, we continued through the Behm Canal on our way to tomorrow’s destination, Wrangell. Throughout the day we were surrounded by low-lying smoke from distant Canadian wildfires, creating a beautifully eerie and moody atmosphere. Starting with the sunrise and through to sunset, diffused pink light illuminated the mountains and cliffs around us as we sailed through exceptionally calm waters. We ended the evening with cocktail hour, recaps by our naturalist team, and a delicious dinner by our chefs.