Our first morning on National Geographic Sea Lion started with our ship making its way into an icy field as we stretched our legs, acclimating to the early Alaskan sunrise. We sailed through channels on our way to Sawyer and South Sawyer Glaciers, surrounded by granite walls. We strained our necks as we looked toward their peaks. After a filling breakfast, we had our first opportunity at adventuring off the ship and onto our smaller inflatable Zodiacs. We explored as closely as possible during this excursion, weaving through icebergs ranging in size from a small pebble to a large bus. We drove through the fjord, observing small, dark spots on the ice that we initially thought were rocks. They were actually harbor seals, some of which had their young pups accompanying them on the floating ice.
Once we were as close to the glacier as possible, we took in the surrounding wilderness with as much appreciation as we could muster, feeling as if we were the only ones in the world. Soon enough, we were incredibly lucky to witness enormous chunks of ice breaking off the glacier and falling into the sea below. This calving process is a normal and expected event that happens as glaciers move and progress across the landscape. It was awe-inspiring to say the least as we watched enormous blocks of glacial ice break off without warning, almost jumping into the ocean below.
This afternoon, we continued our adventures by once again stepping foot off National Geographic Sea Lion. Instead of Zodiacs, we chose to adventure by way of kayaks and paddleboards this time. Anchored in Williams Cove, guests had the opportunity to paddle around a beautiful inlet. We were surrounded by forests of old-growth western hemlock and Sitka spruce as we took in a stunningly classic Alaskan environment. We were treated to a large iceberg that floated into the cove, displaying what looked like a hundred different shades of blue. Towards the end of the afternoon, we were lucky enough to spot a large black bear walking along the rocky shoreline.
Today was an incredible first full day of our trip here in Southeast Alaska, and we are all excited to keep the sense of adventure going tomorrow when we explore our next stop: Haines.