Today was an action-filled day aboard National Geographic Venture. The day began with the undersea specialist and expedition diver going for an early morning dive in Port Althorp. On their dive, they encountered many jellies, kelps, and even a sea pen. Nick shared a video of his finds at evening recap, so it felt like we were all part of the dive.
The plan for guests in the morning was to enjoy a kayak or standup paddle, then stretch their legs ashore for an interpretive hike along the intertidal and into the Sitka spruce and surrounding understory. As the groups walked along the intertidal, the mud flats revealed many coastal brown bear tracks. This was an exciting way to start the hikes, and we looked for more signs of wildlife in the area.
Once hikes and kayaking were finished, we hauled up the anchor and relocated to the north anchorage of the Inians. This area is a fan favorite for a number of reasons. The proximity of the Inian Islands to the Pacific Ocean causes an upwelling of sea water, adding large amounts of cold, nutrient-filled water to the shallow cuts between the Inian Islands. Groups were split up and headed out in the ship’s Zodiacs to explore the area. We were lucky to see Steller sea lions feeding on fish, sea otters with pups, and humpback whales lunge-feeding. We even had a brief encounter with a minke whale. It began to rain, but the wildlife and beauty of the area prevented the dampening of any spirits.