National Geographic Sea Bird cruised from Ketchikan into the Behm Canal in Misty Fjords National Monument, a 2.3-million acre wilderness of shear rock walls, temperate rainforest, and glacier-carved waterways.

The weather was excellent, but an even better surprise to start the day was a black bear that swam across the channel as we cruised in Rudyerd Bay. We watched as it finally came ashore on the other side, shook the excess water from its body and proceeded up the rock face of a landslide, snacking on some berries as it went.

We continued to the end of the fjord and set the anchor. Our activities this morning included kayaking and DIB cruising to admire the grandiose scenery. There were many bald eagles, harbor seals, a mink, ribbons of water plummeting from thousands of feet above, and a glacier-sculpted image of an owl overlooking the narrows at Owl Pass. The lush and verdant forest was dense with western hemlocks, Sitka spruce, and cedars clinging tenuously to precipitous slopes. Alders and other shrubs fill avalanche tracks, and myriad mosses, ferns and lichens cover all available space.

National Geographic Sea Bird repositioned to Walker Cove for our afternoon Zodiac tour. Magnificent scenery abounded at every turn. Pacific salmon are returning to their natal streams, connecting the ocean to the freshwater and forest ecosystems.