We spent a cozy morning cruising to our afternoon location in Endicott Arm. While it rained outside, we curled up with hot teas and coffees and learned about glaciers during a presentation given by Lindblad naturalist Kimberly Wood. Amazingly, the rain stopped as we sat down to a warm, hardy lunch, and we got psyched about the afternoon’s activities.
After lunch National Geographic Sea Bird slowed to a halt within view of Dawes Glacier, and we knew it was time. Half of our group bundled up in all our “Alaska” layers and set out on Zodiac tours to get a closer view of the glacier. As we passed by large icebergs we marveled at the countless shapes and shades of blue. On this day we were astounded to see the path to the glacier face almost completely clear. Where there are normally fields of ice there was an open, glassy surface, making it possible to go closer to the glacier than we normally can. We cruised over to within a half mile of the 300 ft. tall face and listened to the rumbling thunder of small ice calving events. Off in the distance we saw harbor seals on ice, resting together in small groups as arctic terns circled overhead. We had a special treat when we were visited by a Zodiac full of friendly Vikings delivering hot cocoa.
While we toured the glacier, the other half of our group attended a presentation on smartphone photography given by our certified photo instructor Chelsea Meyer. Afterward the groups switched — and the second group was eager to try out their new photo skills on their glacier tour.
We wrapped up the day with informative recaps given by staff during cocktail hour, a delicious dinner, and a beautiful sunset over the mountains. It was a wonderful day on National Geographic Sea Bird.