Without a Quest-ion, Petersburg is a highlight of any trip through the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska. Sure, the cell service is nice, especially to send photos and make sure that your friends at home are sufficiently jealous of your adventures in yesterday’s Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness (and Connectivity Dead Zone).

But this “town that fish built,” inaccessible to large cruising ships, offers a slice of Alaskan life that warms the heart and plants seeds for a needed return voyage. We arrived through thick fog blanketing the marina—a premonition of the incoming warm and sunny day mixing with the chilly waters of Frederick Sound. We disembarked shortly after breakfast, some to explore the muskegs of nearby Kupreanof Island, others to bike a six-mile loop around town, and still others to hike, with or without a guide, and explore the town.

The dive team took a moment to explore beneath the defunct cannery, discovering massive sunflower starfish, piles of plumose anemones and tube worms amid the pilings, and a few frisky Dungeness crabs trying to make themselves scarce, knowing that tonight is crab night aboard National Geographic Quest.

We sailed away with our Ray Troll shirts purchased from Lee’s, bellies full from the Salty Pantry and Inga’s Galley, and eyes trained on a glorious sunset ahead of tomorrow’s “fjordgeous” adventures in Takatz Bay. Onward!