After a week of warm sunny weather, the day began with a light sprinkle of rain and a light fog over the forests of Sitkoh Bay. Nothing could have been more appropriate to accompany our morning hikes through the temperate rain forest. As we geared up for our shuttle rides over to the beach, we got some great views of a brown bear perusing the opposite shoreline of the bay. We headed over and split into various groups of hiking preferences. Most of us hiked up a peaceful old logging road lined with tall forests of spruce, hemlocks and alders, with an understory of blueberries, salmonberries and thimbleberries (which we happily tasted along the way). The trail was also lined with banana slugs and everyone loved counting how many we could find along our walks. Another part of the group went for an adventurous bushwhack though the forest on game trails out to a grassy meadow and over a few streams. They found some fresh bear tracks and had a great time exploring. After the hike, six brave souls stayed on the beach and dove into the water for our famous polar plunge, to the cheers of onlookers. It was a refreshing good time!

We returned to National Geographic Sea Bird and warmed up with a delicious lunch and settled in for a day of cruising for wildlife along Chatham Strait. We watched salmon jump and common murres dive. We hung with a humpback, watch a brown bear mosey along the shore, and saw a group of Dall’s porpoises swim by. Everyone gave their favorite photos of the trip to our certified photo instructor, Chelsea, for the guest slide show, which we closed out the night watching. It was the perfect last day of wonderful trip.