Seldom Seen Alaska Expedition – July 2023 Trip Diary – Day 3
Enchanting Journey to Gustavus – A Symphony of Wildlife: Our expedition continued with an enthralling journey to Gustavus, a captivating leg of our adventure that carried us through the mesmerizing landscapes of Chichagof Island and the West Chicagof-Yakobi Wilderness Area. The tranquil sea conditions paved the way for a seamless voyage, offering us abundant opportunities to bask in the breathtaking surroundings that provided the perfect backdrop for our photography pursuits.
A Gathering of Seabirds and Whales: As we charted our course through Lisanski Strait and
reached the Inian Islands, an enchanting surprise awaited us. A splendid congregation of approximately 200 Black-Legged Kittiwakes adorned a solitary rock, crafting a mesmerizing spectacle that beckoned our camera lenses. The air resonated with the melodious trumpeting calls of humpback whales, a magnificent pod of around 15 individuals, gracefully engaged in their dance of feeding in the crystal-clear waters. Their presence and the echoes of their calls reverberating against the cliff walls left us in sheer awe.
Sea Otter Photography and Sea Lion Dominance Battles: Our encounters with the local wildlife continued to be nothing short of extraordinary. A buoyant raft of 50 sea otters, gracefully floating amidst the kelp patches, allowed us to capture the playful charm of these captivating creatures. Furthermore, we were privileged to witness the spirited theatrics of nature’s sea lion haul outs. Over 50 individuals engaged in vigorous dominance battles, offering us a thrilling glimpse into their complex social dynamics.
The Beauty of Gustavus Beckons: Our journey to Gustavus not only gifted us with these
incredible wildlife encounters but also left us in perpetual wonder at the untamed beauty of Alaska’s wilderness. With each passing moment, our enthusiasm grew as we anticipated the adventures yet to unfold in this enchanting land.
As we progress through this extraordinary 12-day expedition across Southeast Alaska, our hearts swell with gratitude for the unforgettable experiences and breathtaking sights we’ve been privileged to witness. Our cameras remain poised to capture more of nature’s magic, and our spirits are brimming with anticipation for the wonders that lie ahead in the coming days.