Tracy Arm Fjords Terror Wilderness Area

Aug 21, 2017 - National Geographic Sea Bird


Our first day was filled with the adventure of Human Bingo, searching for wildlife, and viewing South Sawyer Glacier from an up-close-and-personal-perspective. Following Human Bingo, a game giving everyone the opportunity to find out the little secrets we all hold (such as if you’d like to swim in Alaska, if you enjoy wearing rubber boots, if you can whistle or play a musical instrument!) we continued cruising and looking for wildlife while slowly making our way towards the glacier. 

About mid-morning, we all shared some knowledge about maps and learned where we are and where we are headed in Southeast Alaska. A few of us even played an extended game I Spy. Linda Burback, naturalist and photo instructor, then gave a fun and in-depth look all the incredible functions of the iPhone as a camera.

Following lunch we loaded up the Zodiacs for a tour of the glacier. We were greeted with cool, moist conditions, beautiful icebergs, an abundance of harbor seals and many birds. The glacier calved multiple times giving us all that indescribable thrill and excitement we experience when a glacier calves! A calving tidewater glacier in Southeast Alaska is indeed a wonderful way to end the afternoon. But, that wasn’t really the end, since we did make a stop at Hole-in-the-Wall falls, which was flowing very thick and fast due to all the rain that fell in August.

What about the total eclipse of the sun? Well, as the first image illustrates, which was taken just about the time the eclipse occurred in this part of the world (9:20 a.m.), we didn’t see too much of this phenomenon. It did become a little darker, but it was difficult to determine whether this was due to celestial phenomena or just us looking through the rain-scattered atmosphere.

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About the Author

David Jaffe

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For more than 20 years David Jaffe has guided and taught a variety of audiences about our natural world and our connection with it. His childhood interest in natural systems eventually brought him to Evergreen State College where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geology, followed by a M.S in Applied Ecology from the University of Vermont. Mingling an academic background with experience working around the world in exceptionally diverse environments, he is able to efficiently observe, understand, and interpret natural and cultural history.

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