Guests woke up on their first full day aboard National Geographic Sea Lion with an immeasurable amount of excitement. After a delicious breakfast, we had the opportunity to step off the ship and into Zodiacs to tour an iconic destination in Southeast Alaska: Misty Fjords National Wilderness Area. This land was initially designated a National Monument in 1978 by President Carter, but only a couple years later, it was further protected by naming almost the entire area as a National Wilderness Area, eliminating any possibility of future development or habitat destruction. Our Zodiac tours took us through a narrow waterway known as Owl’s Pass and continued around a glacial fjord where we explored towering waterfalls. The weather was as perfect as we could imagine, complete with low-lying clouds that slowly drifted by the granite walls surrounding us.

In the afternoon, guests were able to take their explorations one step further. They hopped into kayaks or onto paddleboards to get an even closer look at the lush temperate rainforest. Paddling around the “punchbowl” inlet, guests enjoyed classic weather here in Southeast Alaska at this time of year, with spurts of soft rain, grey skies, and an extremely moody atmosphere overall. To add to the beauty around us, we spotted some curious harbor seals popping their heads above the silky surface of the water as we kayaked.

We have experienced so much excitement during our adventures. The rain dampened our clothes (but not our hearts!), and we were very happy to end the day by getting some warm drinks, enjoying presentations from our naturalists, and enjoying the comforting and filling dinner made by our incredible chefs and galley crew. After a day of exciting excursions, we are looking forward to continuing the adventures tomorrow in Wrangell.