Jun 21, 2019 - National Geographic Venture
This morning we woke to a cloudless sky in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Glacier Bay National Park. The snow-covered peak of Mount Fairweather was clearly visible and led us like a beacon throughout our morning to our ultimate destination, the terminus of the Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers.
After a light breakfast and introductions from our park ranger and native voice interpreter, we all gathered on the bow to view one of the hot spots in this wildlife-rich environment, South Marble Island. Birds were the highlight, and on display in great abundance! Black-legged kittiwake gulls, marbled murrelets, pigeon guillemots, pelagic cormorants, bald eagles, harlequin ducks, and both the tufted and horned puffin flew nearby or rested on the island. Using the island as a haul out, several dozen Steller sea lions basked in this unusually warm summer solstice day.
We sailed onward toward the glacier with stops to view a beautiful brown bear and two cubs foraging along the intertidal zone. We also saw several mountain goats high on the steep slopes of gloomy knob. The weather held perfectly, and we took off our jackets and put on our sunscreen to enjoy the spectacular views of the Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers. We stayed about forty-five minutes at this location watching small calving events along the glacial terminus, then turned the boat and headed south back to Bartlett Cove, where we began our adventure.
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