Seymour Narrows and Roscoe Bay

Oct 11, 2019 - National Geographic Venture

Our last full day of our expedition in the Pacific Northwest started in glorious fashion with a stunning sunrise on a crisp autumn morning. We navigated south down the Johnstone Strait, through the Discovery Islands, named after one of George Vancouver’s ships that charted these waters on a 1792 expedition and ultimately passing through the fabled Seymour Narrows. Just north of the narrows we encountered a small pod of Bigg’s killer whales which specialize in taking marine mammal prey like harbor seals and sea lions. Strong tidal currents have long plagued these waters and this morning, as we transited the narrows, we were faced with a stiff 6.5-knot current on the bow. Massive eddy currents and whirlpools swirled as if the water itself was boiling. Despite the challenging conditions our skilled Second Mate Christina Finnen managed the transit with ease.

Onward to our destination for the afternoon at Roscoe Bay Provincial Park where we would take advantage of the beautiful weather and conditions to explore for one last time the temperate rainforest. We explored the area on short walks, and the productive waters by kayak and Zodiac. This incised bay carved by glaciers, technically a fjord, exhibited the characteristic forest ecosystem covering nearly every square meter of bedrock right down to the high tide line, with a deep aquamarine tint to the water. Near shore, moon jellies in the kazillions pulsed along just below the surface. Out in the main channel humpback whales serenely cruised along as we enjoyed watching them from Zodiacs. All in all it was a most fitting conclusion to our expedition. Later in the evening we all gathered in the forward lounge to enjoy a slideshow of images compiled from contributions by guests and tell tales to one another about the week we shared together.

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About the Author

Doug Gualtieri


Doug’s passion for the natural world started at an early age in his home state of Michigan. He received two biology degrees from Central Michigan University, and later went on to get a master’s degree in conservation biology. His education led him to study a diverse range of natural sciences, with an emphasis on ecology, animal behavior, and migratory birds. Shortly after leaving the academic world, Doug migrated north to Alaska with his trusty Siberian husky, Koda. He began working as a naturalist in Denali National Park in 1999. For over seven years he has shared his love of Alaska and Denali’s six million acres with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic guests, as trip leader for the Denali Land Extension based at the North Face Lodge deep within the park.

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