Tracy Arm, Alaska

Jun 08, 2019 - National Geographic Venture

National Geographic Venture crossed the Tracy Arm Bar (terminal moraine) this morning at 5:45 a.m., with overcast skies and intermittent bouts of drizzle, or perhaps better stated as “Southeast Alaskan sunshine.” Large aquamarine icebergs dotted the horizon and the effect of the katabatic winds greeted the guests while they enjoyed the dramatic views from the bow cradling their hot morning beverage in hand. The talented bridge officers gracefully maneuvered National Geographic Venture around, and sometimes between, these massive icebergs that have calved from the glacier ahead. 

After another delicious breakfast, two rounds of Zodiac cruises departed for ninety minutes each, with an objective to get a glimpse of the face of South Sawyer Glacier. The fleet of Zodiacs racing towards the glacier, sometimes one behind the other, zigzagging between bergy bits (boulder-size pieces of ice) are one of many tools of exploration used to provide guests with the best possible expedition experience. Armed with cameras and binoculars, guests had the opportunity to witness one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Unites States of America. From mountain goats, to harbor seals and bald eagles, to the thunderous clap of the calving South Sawyer Glacier, this day spent in Tracy Arm/Fords Terror Wilderness Area lived up to its expectation and beyond.

The finale of this already marvelous day was when our naturalist team spotted an adult male orca and a black bear almost simultaneously as we exited Tracy Arm. The day was filled with dramatic views, many animals, and stories that will be told at home from exploring this striking portion of Southeast Alaska.

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About the Author

Shawn Lucas


Shawn’s love of the outdoors began at an early age when he would play the game manhunt with his neighborhood friends in the forest behind the development they lived in situated in the tiny upstate hamlet of Wappingers Falls, New York. As long as he can remember, the forest had always beckoned and sparked a strong sense of exploration and wanderlust. 

About the Photographer

Carlos Navarro

Undersea Specialist

Carlos J. Navarro is a biochemist specializing in marine biology, a M. Sc. in Environmental Management and a freelance wildlife photographer/author. Carlos has spent most of the last 30 years living along the shores of the Sea of Cortez and participating in numerous scientific, conservation and environmental education projects on the vaquita, marine invertebrates, sea birds, great white sharks, baleen whales, jaguars and crocodiles. Carlos’ six years of jaguar research provided the basis of ONCA MAYA, a non-profit organization dedicated to jaguar conservation based in Cancun, of which he is a founding member and still serves as a scientific advisor. He loves being underwater, either free-diving or using SCUBA gear and have had the chance to explore the underwater realms of Alaska, Mexico, Svalbard, the trans-Atlantic ridge islands, the Caribbean and both coasts of South America from Panama to Chile and Brazil to Argentina. 

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