Drawing anchor from Thomas Bay, we steamed 70 miles north through Fredrick Sound and Stephens Passage last night. This morning dawned with another beautiful day in Southeast Alaska as we entered Endicott Arm. Early risers were treated to a black bear foraging on the beach. Mostly grazing among the sedges, it also stood on its hind legs to nibble the young growth on the alder as it perused the rocky shoreline.
As we continued up Endicott Arm fjord, Captain Carter deftly navigated National Geographic Sea Lion past numerous icebergs, including a few providing refuge to some native harbor seals.
The highlight of our morning was the Zodiac ice tours. Due to numerous icebergs, National Geographic Sea Lion was required to stop nearly four miles from the terminus of the glacier. Despite the density of icebergs, naturalist Eric Guth and expedition leader Alberto Mountadon piloted the Zodiacs around the bergs to within sight of the massive calving face of Dawes Glacier. The beauty of the ice, the harbor seals, and the sheer walls of the fjord captivated guests and staff.
We were quite fortunate after lunch, as the timing of the tide permitted safe passage into Ford’s Terror. This narrow construction in the fjord is known for a perilous tidal bore. Once again, we explored waterfalls and sheer canyon walls carved by glaciers.
As we explored deeper in the gorge, the advance Zodiac piloted by our expedition leader spotted several Alaskan brown bears. After waiting for guests and staff, all were able to observe the majestic bears quietly foraging through the sedges at the water’s edge.