Morning aboard National Geographic Sea Lion started with us pulling into an anchorage right outside Haines, Alaska. To start the day’s activities, guests were shuttled to the dock to explore this quaint Alaskan town and meet their local guides for various activities. With choices ranging from a bicycle tour, fly fishing, hiking Mount Riley, and floating down the Chilkat River, there was something for everyone. As we packed up for the day, lunches were distributed so everyone could optimize their time in Haines or even stop at the local brewery. Returning in waves, everyone was back on board for a lovely dinner prepared by head chef Neal Skannes and his galley team. After dinner, naturalist and photo instructor Eric Guth presented on glaciers with, “The Life of a Snowflake.” While listening to Eric’s presentation, guests enjoyed sweet chocolate mousse, the perfect ending to an even sweeter day.
National Geographic Sea Bird
This morning we woke in Saook Bay with beautifully calm overcast conditions, mist on the mountains, and an intermittent sprinkling of rain. Three brown bears were spotted onshore from the ship’s bow before 7 a.m. by our early-rising naturalist. Several guests joined the early morning observations, while others joined the stretch class with our wellness specialist. After breakfast, kayakers and paddleboarders took to Saook Bay for a peaceful paddle. Global Explorers had a special shore expedition to experience the intertidal zone, where they learned to make kelp horns and rattles. Then we ramped up the energy for both participants and spectators during our exciting Polar Plunge into the cold Southeast Alaskan waters. With everyone back on board to enjoy conversations over lunch, we sailed to a small bay for an afternoon of hiking on the trailhead to Lake Eva. Hiking in the temperate rainforest after this morning’s light rain provided many photo opportunities of water droplets on leaves and moss, fabulous fungi, and vibrant berries. One highlight for everyone on the trail was seeing a mama brown bear with her young cub in the creek. She was catching pink salmon and sharing it with her cub. We even saw them both take short swims. With the excitement of this sighting still fresh on our minds, we then watched a cluster of humpback whales spout and fluke as we approached the fantail of National Geographic Sea Bird. A short while later these same whales began bubble-net and lunge feeding! Wow! There’s just so much to experience here in Southeast Alaska.