After ghosting past the New Eddystone Light in Behm Canal under clear blue skies, National Geographic Sea Lion veered ever so slightly to the east, where we entered the magical splendor of Misty Fjords National Monument. A large group of guests gathered on the bow to take in the majesty of these 3000-foot-tall cliffs of granite and basalt when one of our eagle-eyed guests spotted a Sitka black-tailed deer swimming against the shore. Confusion ensued as this is a rare sighting. At three-quarters of a mile off, some thought it was a moose, others thought it was a coyote, and a few held fast to the idea that it was a deer, which proved to be the case as we drew nearer.

We approached God’s Pocket and anchored outside of Owl Pass by 09:15. By 10:00, we were running Zodiac tours in one of the most beautiful little protected coves in Southeast Alaska! Seals and eagles greeted us, a water ouzel poked its head up to say hi, and several float planes stopped by to share the splendor of this magnificent day in Misty Fjords National Monument.

After lunch, we jumped into kayaks, and then we gathered the hardiest of souls for our afternoon polar plunge! The walls of this secluded bay echoed with the whoops and hollers of guests and crew coming to grips with the realities of cold-water swimming. But wait, the day’s activities were not yet complete! There was still a round of Zodiac lessons for our intrepid Global Explorers!

It has been an amazing week of exploring with our beloved guests, and with only one more evening together, there are bound to be many tearful goodbyes. Such is the bittersweet nature of travel. We are all richer for it, but it must always end. Addresses will be hastily exchanged and plans made. In this moment, we feel the warm glow of the connections our travels have provided for us.

It is, no doubt, time to start planning our next adventure!