Tracy Arm–Fords Terror Wilderness

Jul 12, 2017 - National Geographic Sea Bird

We headed away from away from civilization in Juneau this morning as we sailed into the Tracy Arm–Fords Terror Wilderness. Steep, metamorphic mountains surrounded us as we took in the glacially carved fjord that hosted gorgeous waterfalls, fog cloaked tree lines, and just a few glimpses of wildlife before we reached the face of the South Sawyer Glacier. Majestic, blue icebergs beckoned our expedition landing craft deeper into the fjord to find a bounty of harbor seals, Arctic terns, some glacial calving, and all around icy asunder. We even had the treat of being greeted by benevolent Vikings offering us cups of hot cocoa! Certainly, the sweetest Alaskan Vikings there ever were.

After warming up on the National Geographic Sea Bird, we stopped by a beautiful waterfall known as Hole in the Wall Falls to snap a few more photographs. We spent the rest of the afternoon looking for wildlife within this protected wilderness area. Although we don’t know exactly how John Muir must have felt when he visited this area for the first time centuries ago, the adventurous naturalist in all of us exuded as we saw mountain goats, a black bear high up in the mountains, humpback whales, and even a pod of killer whales! 

There were so many cetaceans that we had to postpone briefings and the evening Recap in order to watch several whales, including a lunge feeding humpback whale. We continued north, sailing through the night in order to cover over 125 miles to reach tomorrow’s destination, Haines – the adventure capitol of Alaska! 

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About the Author

Caitlyn Webster

Undersea Specialist

Caitlyn grew up entranced by the sea. She first became SCUBA certified while in high school in southern California and found her true passion diving and studying marine life. After graduating from Cal Poly State University: San Luis Obispo with a degree in Biological Sciences and a concentration in Marine Science and Fisheries, she began her career in research diving operations and logistics. Through different universities and various opportunities, Caitlyn has been fortunate enough to travel to particularly remote parts of the world, sharing her enthusiasm for exploring the seas and marine conservation.

About the Videographer

Ashley Karitis

Video Chronicler

Ashley was raised in the foothills of the Cascade Range in Central Oregon. After childhood careers in ski racing, equestrian sports, classical piano, and summer jobs on a dude ranch, she emerged as a unique hybrid of adventuress, hobby farmer, and storyteller. 

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