We enjoyed a beautiful morning exploring the Sitka spruce and hemlock trees dominating the forest along the Lake Eva trail on Chichagof Island; then in the later part of the day we cruised Chatham Strait. Stunning scenery abounded with the lush green understory of mosses, lichens, berry bushes, deer ferns, skunk cabbage, aspen, and Devil’s club, just to name a few. Under the dotted canopy of the trees, we identified signs of recent bear activity, red squirrel caches, and the flitting dance of birds through the understory. The screeches of a soaring bald eagle and the sounds of the songbirds echoed throughout the forest, as the flowing water of the salmon stream gurgled into the brackish lagoon leading to the sea.

Our cruise through Chatham Strait had calm winds and seas; we enjoyed expansive views of snow-capped mountains, and intimate tree-lined coastlines with kelp wafting in the shallower waters. It was a great place for all to reflect on the many sights, sounds, smells, and experiences we’ve had over the past 13 days of this Treasures of the Inside Passage expedition from Seattle to Sitka.