Glacier Bay, Alaska

Jun 25, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird


WOW! Our day dawned with glassy water and a beautiful collection of cumulus clouds. The Fairweather Range was in full view as we left Bartlett Cove. We headed north towards Marble Island, and encountered sea otters floating by the ship en route. Soon, we were watching tufted puffins, pelagic cormorants, black-legged kittiwakes, and Steller sea lions on Marble Island. We enjoyed the grunts and growls of the sea lions before sailing on toward Tidal Inlet and Gloomy Knob. 

At Gloomy Knob, we spotted mountain goats high up on the rock face. The mountain goats give birth on the edge of the steep rock cliffs, to keep safe from predators. From the ship, we spotted several nanny goats and kids. Our ranger and a naturalist onboard shared their knowledge of the geologic processes that formed these amazing rocks. As we sailed on toward Russell Cut, a humpback blew in the distance and more sea otters floated by. 

Just after lunch, we arrived at Margerie Glacier, and positioned the ship to watch the glacier and listen to it as it groaned and cracked. Black-legged kittiwakes and harbor seals floated by on ice floes. Finally, we witnessed an amazing calving experience, and with that the native Tlingit onboard sang a goodbye song to the glacier. We sailed back toward Bartlett Cove amidst beautiful blue waters, beneath stunning clouds.

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About the Author

Brenda Tharp

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For over 20 years, Brenda has used her photographs of the world to celebrate its beauty, and inspire others to protect what we have. Brenda grew up exploring the woods, lakes, and coastlines of New Jersey and New England and her family traveled regularly throughout the eastern U.S., camping, hiking, backpacking, and canoeing. She spent most of her childhood engaging with nature in some form or another and learning about animal behavior. When her father taught her some photography at 13, Brenda soon combined her love for nature with her newfound passion, and several years later her adventure began as a freelance photographer, teacher, and writer.

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