Fredrick Sound, Petersburg

Jun 14, 2018 - National Geographic Quest

Glassy seas and sunshine welcomed us to another beautiful morning of our voyage. Dall’s porpoises joined us as we slid through Fredrick Sound, riding on our bow wave and giving us quite the show. As one of the fastest cetaceans, they had no problem keeping up with National Geographic Quest. Not to be outdone, humpback whales surfaced around us as sea lions swam about. One of the many wonders of Alaska is just how much you can see in one place at one time, and this morning highlighted that. As an added surprise, we had wonderful sightings of several moose as they walked along the beach. This was an exciting find; even our expedition leader commented on how it was her first time seeing them with guests from a ship. 

After a wonderful brunch, we pulled into the gorgeous fishing village of Petersburg. Though small, this port pulls in a substantial amount of the fish caught in Alaska on top of being picturesque and offering plenty of options to explore. Across on Kupernof Island we walked through a muskeg bog and found a completely new ecosystem. This place is home to many unique plants not found in other parts of the temperate rain forest. One of the more interesting inhabitants was the round leafed sundew. This carnivorous plant calls the muskeg its home in abundance, offering us many looks at this curious plant. A little further down the path a sooty grouse was attempting to hide in plain sight. Though well camouflaged, we watched as it slowly walked through the muskeg with a chick following close by. 

Petersburg had much more to offer us. Some of us walked the docks and got tours of the fishing fleet. Others of us practiced our newly refined photography skills. Biking and walking around the town gave us a glimpse of life in small town Alaska. A small number of us got the big picture by taking flightseeing tours, giving us unique views of the local landscape. This is a truly a special place and we had another wonderful day exploring it.

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About the Author

Steve Backus


Born in the mountains of East Tennessee, it was easy for Steve to fall in love with the wonderful natural environment that surrounded him. What started as a childhood passion to scan the creeks and ponds for all they would reveal evolved into a studied desire to understand the environments around us.

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