South Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm

Aug 13, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

Early morning misty light found National Geographic Sea Bird making her way up Tracy Arm toward South Sawyer Glacier. Snow-capped mountains surrounded us as the ship maneuvered through icebergs and bergy bits calved from the glacier at the head of the fjord.

After a scrumptious breakfast, we boarded our expedition landing crafts to venture further into Tracy Arm and get a closer look at the source of all the floating ice around us. Curious harbor seals eyed us from their floating ice perches. Mountain goats gazed at us from the stony walls surrounding the fjord. South Sawyer Glacier treated us to several large calving events with walls of ice falling from the glacier face into the sea with a resounding thunderclap.

After lunch, all the water toys came out. Some of us chose to kayak; others explored by expedition landing craft; still others tested the ice-cold waters on stand-up paddleboards!

Our day was best summed up in a poem composed by guest Jenna Pearson:


It’s a rare dream

to see what I’ve seen

to stand still and be

near heaven’s

shadow of imperfect

beauty that I

will forever hold

dear to my heart.

  • Send

About the Author

Michael Nolan

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez.

Get our newsletter

Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.

Privacy Policy