Tracy Arm

Jun 14, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

Tracy Arm is truly an amazing location for several reasons. This morning we were fortunate enough to wake among the sheer cliffs and valleys carved by glaciers of the Stikine Ice Field. A, expanse of water and icebergs laid before us, twisting and turning up the valley to the face of the glacier. Along the way, we encountered countless harbor seals and their pups taking refuge on the floating icebergs. The more we advanced towards the glacier, the more icebergs and seals we saw. The face of South Sawyer Glacier is impressive – about a half-mile across and reached towards the sky up to 150 feet from the surface of the water. We viewed several calving events from the safety of our Zodiacs. This tidal glacier spent many years forming the valley of Tracy Arm, and we are some of the few that get to experience the beautiful scenery it has created.

The morning’s scenery cultivated the perfect environment to reflect on the experiences we shared up to this point in the trip. Every person onboard possessed excitement for the upcoming Zodiac cruises. Many waterfalls decorate the walls of Tracy Arm and vary widely in shape and size. Each waterway helping to create a lush environment full of greenery and wildlife. We gathered lifejackets and took to the Zodiacs to explore this beautiful landscape. Our small groups help us to become immersed within the starkness of this environment.

The first signs of wildlife surfaced as we made our way towards South Sawyer Glacier. We saw two large families of mountain goats – a wondrous occasion to see them so close to the water’s edge. Harbor seals and their pups dot the horizon as we approach the face of the glacier. They are curious critters, as some would approach our Zodiacs. Finally, we arrived at the face of South Sawyer Glacier. The wall of ice gleaming with the morning sunshine. We were graced with a fantastic morning aboard National Geographic Quest.

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About the Author

Nick Brown


Born and raised on the edge of the Mojave Desert, Nick was accustomed to hot dry days, far from the ocean. Everything changed when he attended California State University Monterey Bay, a short 1.5 miles from the beaches of Central California. This is where Nick’s passion for the water developed and completely engulfed his life. He quickly changed his concentration in college to Marine Science, allowing him to further dive into the underwater world.

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