The “crown jewel of the Park Service” is a fitting title for Glacier Bay National Park. With blue skies above and Marjorie Glacier in front of us, we started our day of exploration. Brown bears roamed the shorelines, mountain goats did convincing imitations of laundry piles. A group of Steller sea lions seemed to take exception to our attentions towards the goats on Gloomy Knob and photo-bombed them. Onward to Geike Inlet where a sleepy brown bear reclined in a snowbank, and five wolves traipsed up a snow slope, and a moose reclined down the inlet in the same style as our prior bear. Onward to South Marble Island with the boisterous and odiferous Steller sea lions draped about the shoreline rocks. Staccato squawks of kittiwakes and other gulls filled the air as a pair of bald eagles sporadically took flight, upsetting the avian residents of the island. A stroll around the park headquarters at Bartlett Cove amongst bird song and golden light put the finishing touch on our day in a gem of a national park.
National Geographic Sea Bird
After a comfortable evening sail through Johnstone Strait, we arrived in Tenedos Bay within the Desolation Sound Marine Park just prior to sunrise. The morning views were spectacular with wispy bands of mist on the tree-covered mountains, clear skies, and a hint of orange in the sky reflecting off the glassy waters as the sun rose. Many guests enjoyed the early morning views from all decks as oystercatchers and belted kingfishers sounded off with the rising sun. Conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for kayaking and standup paddleboarding in the morning. The calm waters made for a beautifully peaceful yet aerobic paddle as we explored around a small island within Tenedos Bay. Amongst the red cedars and the Douglas firs, the sunlight highlighted the red bark of the Pacific madrones, locally known here as arbutus trees. These trees are becoming much more prevalent as we journey southward on this, “Remarkable Journey: Alaska, British Columbia, and Haida Gwaii. Prior to lunch, the fun continued for both participants and spectators alike during our Polar Plunge! The plunge wear was varied and included a pink Power Ranger suit and a Gumby suit worn by Second Mate Jenna. It was so much fun with laughter and smiles all around, and it made for some fun lunchtime conversations. For the afternoon, we opted to remain anchored at this beautiful place and took scenic Zodiac cruises to explore the area more. Harbor seals, kingfishers, and many oysters were among the nature we spotted. Today was a fantastic final full day on board National Geographic Sea Bird . Experiences and memories that will last have been made during our voyage. Tomorrow morning, we disembark in Vancouver.