Our expedition has officially begun. Guests aboard National Geographic Quest woke up to a beautifully serene Desolation Sound, north of Victoria. We spent the morning exploring the temperate rainforest on hikes, gliding across glassy water and into nearby coves in kayaks, and cruising the small, rocky islands on Zodiac cruises. We had a few notable birding highlights throughout our adventures today: bald eagles watched us intently as we looked to them in wonder and appreciation, a group of belted kingfishers seemed to put on a rock concert in a towering western red cedar, and the stark calls of Steller’s jays rang through the trees.

After a warm chili lunch, we pulled anchor and set off to look for more beauty along the waterways of British Colombia. Guests were given a cultural history lesson on the Indigenous people and cultures around the Pacific Northwest region before spending the afternoon searching for wildlife from the bow. Cocktail hour included some entertaining and exciting reflections from our excursions. We shared stories of sneaky seals, towering trees, and fascinating fungi. We ended the evening by watching the sunset from our dining room, followed by a comical and informative expedition photography presentation.

Our bellies are full, our minds are reflecting on an incredible day, and our thoughts are looking forward, excited to see what the rest of our trip has to offer.