The Inians are truly a magical place. As we approached the islands this afternoon, we found humpback whales. Everywhere. More than a dozen whales, feeding and fluking all around us, were visible as we approached our anchorage, the Hobbit Hole. With the humpbacks around us, we eagerly boarded Zodiacs for a water-level view of the feeding frenzy. We Zodiac cruised, following the whales as they dove for fish. Calves played at the surface as moms hunted, and a couple whales burst forth from the ocean and breached, showing off their incredible power and size.
But we didn’t just see humpback whales. All the animals were out to enjoy the ripping currents and the fish being carried in by the upwelling. Steller sea lions dove and cavorted in the current, grabbing salmon and viciously slapping them on the water to break them up and swallow them. Bald eagles, black-legged kittiwakes, and glaucous-winged gulls descended on pieces thrown off from each unfortunate salmon. A buffet for everyone! Amidst all the chaos, sea otters placidly paddled along, diving to the seafloor to grab urchins and basket stars. Upon returning, the otters gobbled up their catch, using their stomachs as tables. The Inians are an incredible, uniquely Alaskan place that showcase all that Southeast Alaska has to offer.