Reflections from an expedition: Halley Hughes

(Halley Hughes/University of Arizona)

[Editor's note: We asked each of our 2022 Storyfest travelers to share their thoughts about the experience aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion for a week with Lindblad Expeditions.]

The Wild Alaska trip with Lindblad Expeditions was a world-altering trip for a little desert dweller like me! This experience connected me to the wild pulse of life and brought me face-to-face with the pristine natural world. The naturalists on staff were wells of knowledge who helped guide us to the absolute gems of Southeast Alaska. The expedition itself was incredibly enriching and rewarding. Our group stumbled into a patch of incredibly beautiful weather, which made wildlife spotting and glacier-watching very enjoyable activities. The group had stellar luck with wildlife, with the ship encountering humpback whales every day of the trip. We saw sea otters, Stellar’s sea lions, harbor seals, harbor porpoises, bald eagles, and brown bears just to name a few. The rich diversity of plant life we experienced was beyond my wildest expectations.

My intellectual curiosities were stoked by the seemingly endless knowledge of the many naturalists on board. The naturalists had incredible presentations about geology, glaciology, marine ecology, and even squid physiology (complete with a on-deck dissection of a squid we found on a beach)! I found myself falling deeper in love with the natural world and finding new exciting disciplines — like geology. I’ll be writing my story about the language of rocks — so stay tuned!

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