From the National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska, July 7, 2010
Today’s adventures were the best of the trip. Wildlife galore! Beautiful forest, clear strong-current waters, birds, etc… The Inian islands are a gateway to the Inner Passage in its northern portion. They are exposed to the open Pacific, and form a series of funnels through which the tidal waters flow, sometimes violently, with big standing waves. In season, salmon returning to their spawning streams enter here during the rushing tides. They are devoured by the hundreds by the waiting Steller sea lions as well as by many other animals, including humpback whales, harbor seals and bald eagles, all patiently waiting on the tall Sitka spruce and western hemlocks.
In the morning we went for a Zodiac cruise through this area, and really enjoyed the happenings there. The sea lions came up to our Zodiacs to curiously take a look at the “funny black duckies.” Circling gulls followed the sea lions to take small tidbits of broken fish, even the entrails. Pigeon guillemots, as well as cormorants and puffins were seen; in all, a very generous morning.
After lunch we moved to Fox Creek, where we enjoyed kayaking, as well as a series of hikes in the forest, where an abundant number of interesting plants were admired. Immediately after, hardy guests took part in the “Polar Bear Club”, jumping in the cold waters off a Zodiac! Congratulations!
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