Chatham Strait, Pavlov Harbor

Jun 02, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion

Wow, what a day! Being the first out into Sitka, it was one to remember. Insomniacs met on the deck with our group’s most energized early in the morning to relish the very first moments of dawn, during which a few humpbacks surfaced to the pleasant surprise of guests.

After 6 a.m., more arrived on the bow to spend the morning observing humpbacks surface here and there.

To the sounds of our cheers, the whales took deep dives showing their exceptional flukes and deep dives.

It wasn’t long before a figure of what seemed on sight as a large dark rock in the grasses began to walk. Sure enough, it was a brown bear. We stood still and mouse-like on the deck, as this massive and iconic animal of Alaska fed on grasses and sedges along the shoreline.

After lunch we arrived at Pavlov Harbor on Chichagof Island. Kayaking on the smooth water cast perfect reflections on the water. Hiking along a short waterfall and through the verdant forest occupied most of us for the afternoon.

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About the Author

Marylou Blakeslee


For the past 20 years, Marylou Blakeslee has traveled the world sharing her love of wild places. She lectures on a number of topics from the bears and wolves of the Arctic, to the leopard seals and whales of the Antarctic, as well as the turtles and fishes of the Great Barrier Reef.

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