Tracy Arm, Southeast Alaska

Aug 23, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird


Today was our first full day of expedition on board National Geographic Sea Bird—and what a way to start our explorations off! Early morning found our ship crossing the terminal moraine to Sawyer Glacier as we entered Holkham Bay. Another 28 miles up the deep and misty fjord brought us to South Sawyer Glacier. Here we launched our expedition landing crafts to get up close (but not too close!) to the glacier face itself. The ice creaked, moaned, and occasionally calved off right before our eyes into the silt-filled sea. Harbor seals surfaced around us, and mountain goats watched our antics from their perches on the steep cliffs above us.

Our afternoon was filled with further explorations of the area. While some guests chose to kayak, others decided to stand-up paddleboard, and still others chose to head out once again in expedition landing crafts for a look at Sawyer Glacier. The two glaciers were once combined but have since split into two different tidewater systems. Our day was spent in the presence of icebergs, bergy bits, and growlers of every size, shape, and tone of blue. So cool!

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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.

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