National Geographic Sea Bird left the port of Ketchikan last night. We sailed south towards Behm Canal and into the heart of Misty Fjords National Monument. We woke up at the end of Rudyard Bay, surrounded by intermittent fog, which made the atmosphere feel quite mystic.

One of the Iconic geologic features of Misty Fjords, is Owl Pass. This is a narrow part of Rudyard Bay where the immense rock wall has adopted the shape of a barn owl’s face. We sailed under “The Owl” with amazing light, which offered a great opportunity for photography and was a very pleasurable visual experience.

We sailed all morning, taking in the majesty of the landscape and calmly looking for birds, observing the mountains, and the wonderful reflections on the water’s surface.

Later we had the opportunity to deploy our kayaks and Zodiacs to experience nature up close. One area that we explored was a beautiful salmon stream surrounded by the forest. We took our boats slowly into the stream and learned about the interesting cycle Pacific salmon experience in order to reproduce. Hundreds of pink salmon were clearly ending their breeding cycle. Pacific salmon die after spawning, and this process fertilizes the environment for the following generation to have all the necessary nutrients that it needs to get a strong start in their early stages of development.

We had a great introduction to our first day in Southeast Alaska, surrounded by the incredible landscapes of Misty Fjords National Monument.