This morning, we boarded Zodiacs in pursuit of marine life. It wasn’t long before we found our bounty: a haulout of walruses.
We pulled up to a respectful distance to observe the marine creatures in their native habitat — at sea.
We sat quietly for 30 minutes or more, bobbing around in the zodiacs and taking in this spectacle of nature. We took turns jockeying for positions to best frame our cameras on these wondruous sea creatures.
Afterward, we zipped along to land the flat-bottom zodiacs on a nearby beach. Taking precautions to remain together as a group — this was bear country, after all — we hiked alongside a stream.
Silver Discoverer’s expedition leaders showed us a few things that we might have otherwise overlooked: dwarf bluberries, bees burrowed in the earth, edible plants. The valley was teeming with life for those who knew where to look for it.
In the evening, we boarded the Zodiacs again for a sunset cruise to another desolate beach, where we pulled ashore and were greeted by glasses of champagne and a blazing campfire.
Before sitting down to enjoy either, we took a short hike up a mountain to snap a few photos of the sunset from high above. The lay of the land was simply stunning.
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The fact was not lost on me — or on the others who I spoke with — that in this busy and bustling world, we were spending an idyllic evening in one of the most remote regions of the planet. As the sky darkened, we made our way back down to the beach.
The campfire crackled, and one of our fellow passengers played old-time favorites on the mandolin. Inspired by the music, a few passengers joined in to perform the melodies.
The sense of fellowship capped an evening — and a day — that none of us are likely to soon forget — a perfect ending to a perfect day on Silver Discoverer.
An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com