The Great Bear Sea is teeming with life both above and below. At last count, 210 species of plants, 80 types of birds, 190 marine invertebrate species, 50 fish species, 20 kinds of mammals and reptiles, and 120 different kinds of seaweed are found in this magical place. We cruised the shoreline and meandered through the rocky channels, some so narrow that Liam spent his time as lookout on the bow, ensuring that Russ avoided the numerous unmarked hazards. We passed by a scattering of huge rocks, covered in Steller sea lions, and hung there for a while, simply observing (and smelling) them as they enjoyed the sun that had reappeared. Being so close to shore, we came close to flocks of sandhill cranes without disturbing them. We sailed with a pod
of Dall’s porpoises as they went into a feeding frenzy right off the bow. Salmon swam and jumped at the river entrances, waiting for the rain. And overhead, we saw an ever-changing kaleidoscope of peregrine falcons, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, murrelets, shearwaters, cormorants and oyster catchers.