Location: Baranoff Island, southeast Alaska
It is hard to believe but our guests actually grew bored of grizzly bears today! After a couple of great scuba dives on the east side of Baranoff Island (including divemaster A.J.’s positively guaranteed “you will see an octopus if you stick with me” dive), we spent the rest of the afternoon anchored at the head end of a spectacularly beautiful inlet.
I think the word “spectacularly” is generally overused but in this case it is an understatement in trying to describe the amazing and fantastic scenery. Imagine being anchoring between a gorgeous 150 foot high waterfall off the bow and a pile of snow 250 feet high off the stern while hemmed into a narrow fjord with steeply rising sides that start with hemlock and fir trees 150 feet high in beautiful, different hues of green and then rises up to snowfields and jagged granite mountain peaks 3000 feet above. Incredible stuff. To top it off, picture a good looking grizzly bear grazing in the sedge grass 400 feet from the Nautilus Explorer.
You can bet that every one of our 8 kayaks was in use and that Jason – our Chief Officer – was kept busy ferrying guests around in the inflatable as everyone vied for the perfect “brown bear shot.” After what seemed like a couple of hours, the grizzly finally ambled off into the trees. Shortly afterwards another grizzly bear showed up just down the beach! After initial excitement among our guests – and another scramble for the kayaks and or a prime “telephoto position” on the bow – chef Enrique sent dinner out as scheduled which caused yet another scramble!!
Our guests had apparently had enough grizzly bears for one day and decided that dinner was the more attractive option. That is some kind of bear viewing when folks are so sated that they are more interested in dinner. Reminds me of lunch at Guadalupe Island last September when I couldn’t persuade any of our guests to look out the window at a 16 foot long great white shark surface swimming past the boat – they were more interested in their lunch as they had already had their fill of watching white sharks!!
Weather: High broken clouds, flat calm glassy smooth seas, temperatures in the high 60’s
Water: 10-15 foot foot visibility unfortunately. 45 – 46°F water temperatures.