Le Conte Bay and Petersburg

Jun 27, 2019 - National Geographic Quest


An incredibly warm day welcomed those aboard National Geographic Quest to the mouth of Le Conte Glacier. A beautiful morning of Zodiac cruising led guests to views most had never before witnessed. Up close and personal with icebergs and harbor seals surfacing nearby. Le Conte is an incredibly well studied glacier by any region’s standards. This very river of ice has been the subject of the longest standing citizen science project nationwide. The inception of the nearby town of Petersburg was due largely to its proximity to the glacier, and the citizens of Petersburg – a large number of them avid fishermen – historically needed a reliable cooling source for their caught lot. The glacier offered nearby natural refrigeration, quickly growing Petersburg into an alive and flourishing fishing town.

Petersburg High School began studying the glacier in 1983. Years since, students make the journey to a viewpoint overlooking the glacier’s face, using their math skills to understand the depth of recession or advance since the previous year’s class. The town offers a multitude of options for our guests. The bustling fishing town has a number of active docks for touring. A walk along the dock showed workers and their boats, many of them in transition from one part of the trade to the next. Many operators hold more than one permit, enabling them to catch in different seasons and fish for a variety of species.

Many guests decided to go on a walk – making a hard choice between an involved walk and a mosey through a nearby muskeg bog. Others instead chose to take a bike ride on their own, completing a five-mile loop in the cloudless sunshine. Following an afternoon ashore in this small town, guests made it back onboard in the early evening to enjoy the day’s recap and a feast of fresh Dungeness crab.

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About the Author

Alyssa Adler

Undersea Specialist

Originally from Oregon, Alyssa has always had a strong relationship with nature and the outdoors. In search of a life full of adventure, she found her passion for the ocean while studying at Oregon State University. She graduated in 2012 with a B.Sc. in marine biology, a minor in chemistry, and a PADI divemaster certification. The year following graduation included extensive traveling and diver training, gaining experience in Greece’s Ionian Sea, the Caribbean waters of Honduras and Bonaire, and the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.

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