This morning expedition leader Mike Messick assembled us for a Zodiac cruise around the Baby Islands where we had great views of the common eiders (with chicks), tufted puffins, pigeon guillemots, and a peregrine falcon. The stars of the day were the whiskered auklets, as the Baby Islands offer one of the best places in the world to see these birds. Along with a few marine animals (stellar sea lions, harbor seals), we had the wonderful opportunity to observe them as they interacted with their environment.
Returning to the ship, we enjoyed lunch as we sailed on to Dutch Harbor, the busiest fishing port in the United States. Upon our arrival, we visited the Aleut Museum and the memorial park celebrating military efforts in the Aleutians. We were given a very moving introduction to the Russian Orthodox Church where the guide explained to us not only some details of the work of the church in the region, but also about the building itself which is listed on the National Register of Historical Sites. The World War II Museum was a high point for many. Here we viewed a first-class series of exhibits detailing the military activity in the Aleutians during that conflict, but also giving appropriate attention to the support services including the nurses who served in this dangerous theater of the war and of the removal of the Aleuts from their island homes for the duration of the war and their return after it was over.