Our final full day of exploring Southeast Alaska is already upon us; we’ve seen so much in such a short time. Today we arrived in rarely visited Ushk Bay, tucked into the crenulated coastline of Chichagof Island. A great low tide gave us many options and everyone was off the ship to explore; some on boat tours of the shoreline, some on their own in kayaks, and some hiking through the intertidal or across the tidal meadows into the forest. On land and on the water there was a great diversity to take in, from bog laurel in the muskeg to breaching humpback whales in the bay.

After lunch more than half the ship’s complement decided to do their own form of aquatic acrobatics by taking the quick, cold plunge into the refreshing waters of the bay — our last full immersion into the local environment. The clouds broke as we cruised Peril Strait and found more humpbacks enjoying the sunny surface waters. With the satisfaction of a well-spent week, but a tinge of sadness at leaving this place and our ship companions, we watched our own slideshow of the expedition and then packed up in preparation for our travels home tomorrow.