A peaceful anchorage near the head of Aaltanhash Inlet allowed guests of National Geographic Venture to awaken to a smack of moon jellies (Aurelia aurita) roaming the fjord. After an early morning scan of the shoreline and surrounding water, several humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were spotted gently feeding around the ship. After breakfast, guests departed in Zodiacs to observe the whales and explore the surrounding area. After an eventful morning, guests returned to the ship for lunch before turning their attention to the terrestrial ecosystems. Naturalists guided excursions throughout the salt marsh and intertidal regions with a small group attempting to penetrate the thick undergrowth in search of an inland lake. Fresh signs of recent bear activity were found throughout the area: bedding locations, fish remains, and a rare glimpse at a perennial bear trail. After returning to the ship, National Geographic Venture departed for a cruise along the shore of Princess Royal Island and a brief search for bears before dropping anchor south of Hartley Bay for the evening.
National Geographic Venture
This is Erin and Alison (Grosvenor Teacher Fellows) taking over the daily expedition report one last time before we head home. Today on National Geographic Venture , we cruised an inlet along the coastal shores of British Columbia. The morning was spent on Zodiacs. We explored the islands and took a nice, casual walk along the coastal beach. With informative talks by our naturalist throughout our journey, we were excited to implement our new learning in this ecosystem. On Zodiacs, we stopped by one coast and spotted a nurse tree with a Sitka spruce growing from it. A kingfisher perched on top of the spruce and then flew past us with its unique musical call. A harbor seal popped over to say hi as well. As we hiked the shoreline, we found ourselves stepping over fallen driftwood. Taking a closer look, we discovered turkey tail fungus and slime mold growing on the fallen trees. Barnacles and remnants of bull kelp were scattered along the shore. Continuing to walk along the beach, we observed interesting rock formations. We are enthusiastic about science and nature. During our time aboard National Geographic Venture , we found ourselves more informed, more engaged, and more passionate about this beautiful ecosystem. We loved the discoveries we made while immersed in this space, and we incorporated the information provided by naturalists who shared their passion and work with us. We know that visiting this land is a special gift, and we look forward to sharing our newfound knowledge, experience, and connections with our school communities. Text and photographs by Grosvenor Teacher Fellows, Alison Katzko and Erin Schmidt