Today was the first full day of our voyage, and we had our first encounter with the pristine Alaskan wilderness in Kelp Bay. After a delicious breakfast, we loaded up the Zodiacs and started our adventure toward the shore of Baranof Island. Here in Kelp Bay there are no marked trails, so instead we started into the forest via bear trails. As we walked further and further into the old-growth Tongass Rainforest, the forest floor lit up with the bright greens of salmonberry bushes, Devil’s club stalks, and oval blueberry bushes; grandiose western hemlocks and Sitka spruce towered overhead. We even had one brave group of explorers bushwhack across the peninsula, returning with muddy boots and huge smiles.

Not only did we get to explore Kelp Bay by land, but also by sea via Zodiac and kayak. Later, the wind picked up and the rain started coming down, as the buzz of anticipation grew within the group. To cap it all off, our explorers even got to see a pair of humpbacks passing by.