Today our guests were treated to an unforgettable experience at Pavlov Harbor. We had a spectacular sighting of coastal brown bears eating salmon, including some cubs getting in on the action. We observed a total of six bears. We marveled at their skill and determination as they packed on the pounds in preparation for winter. The sight of these magnificent creatures in the glistening water was truly a privilege. Guests on Zodiac tours not only got to go upriver to see bears by the waterfall, but they also got to zoom outside the bay to watch humpback whales. Observing whales from a Zodiac is a sight unlike any other. Our guests got to watch them breathe and dive from an eye level view. Their soothing yet explosive exhales were captivating as we sat and listened to them breathe. One of the big highlights was the group’s mass participation in the polar plunge. Our brave and daring passengers ran from the shore into the icy waters as screams and cheers were carried over the water. Tonight, we celebrate our last night together by looking for wildlife in Peril Strait and watching our guest slideshow. Reliving our week through the photos our guests submit is one of the best parts of our trip.
National Geographic Sea Bird
This morning we woke in Saook Bay with beautifully calm overcast conditions, mist on the mountains, and an intermittent sprinkling of rain. Three brown bears were spotted onshore from the ship’s bow before 7 a.m. by our early-rising naturalist. Several guests joined the early morning observations, while others joined the stretch class with our wellness specialist. After breakfast, kayakers and paddleboarders took to Saook Bay for a peaceful paddle. Global Explorers had a special shore expedition to experience the intertidal zone, where they learned to make kelp horns and rattles. Then we ramped up the energy for both participants and spectators during our exciting Polar Plunge into the cold Southeast Alaskan waters. With everyone back on board to enjoy conversations over lunch, we sailed to a small bay for an afternoon of hiking on the trailhead to Lake Eva. Hiking in the temperate rainforest after this morning’s light rain provided many photo opportunities of water droplets on leaves and moss, fabulous fungi, and vibrant berries. One highlight for everyone on the trail was seeing a mama brown bear with her young cub in the creek. She was catching pink salmon and sharing it with her cub. We even saw them both take short swims. With the excitement of this sighting still fresh on our minds, we then watched a cluster of humpback whales spout and fluke as we approached the fantail of National Geographic Sea Bird. A short while later these same whales began bubble-net and lunge feeding! Wow! There’s just so much to experience here in Southeast Alaska.