Today we cruised up Tracy Arm, a spectacular glacially-carved fjord in Southeast Alaska. The fjord averages about one mile wide, is 28 miles long, and measures about 1000 feet deep. Activities this morning included kayaking amongst the floating icebergs and Zodiac cruising to get closer to the face of the South Sawyer Glacier. Those on the Zodiac cruises noticed an abundance of harbor seals hauled out on many of the floating icebergs. After lunch, National Geographic Quest cruised out of the fjord in the strange water falling from the sky (WHAT IS THAT??). It was an exceptional week and after dinner there were many emotions as we bid Alaska farewell, at least for now.
National Geographic Venture
Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park is the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit clans. Covering over three million acres of land, this striking environment lends itself well to discussions about primary succession, a characteristic of temperate rainforests and glaciation. National Geographic Venture started its day with hikes and photography instruction around Bartlett Cove. The ship’s naturalists discussed various aspects of primary succession and temperate rainforests while finding baneberry, fiddleheads, and morel mushrooms. The hikes ended with observing the preserved skeleton of a whale named Snow, a humpback whale killed by a ship strike in 2001. Once all crew and guests were on board, the ship ventured farther into Glacier Bay National Park. Along the way, we observed incredible sightings of humpback whales, Steller sea lions, sea otters, tufted puffins, bald eagles, and a variety of other animals. Farther north, we passed by Gloomy Knob where guests and staff spotted mountain goats whose white fur contrasted well with the dark rocky habitat. Finally, guests and staff celebrated the end of another magical day in Southeast Alaska with cocktail hour while viewing Margerie Glacier calving. The incredible landscape of Southeast Alaska, and particularly Glacier Bay, is an awe-inspiring world that lends itself to exploration and conservation.