Jul 07, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion
Today was our first full day of expedition on National Geographic Sea Lion and it was outstanding. We woke up early to a bright sun shining high above our ship. Even before our first cup of coffee, there were large fragments of calved ice surrounding around our vessel. As the glassy tables of glacial ice approached, we noticed each unique structure had a different story. Some thin, clear pieces resembling swans perched on flat water in the distance. Other pieces were vibrant colors of teal and turquoise with moraine lines striping through their body. And some floating ice had small groups of adult harbor seals and pups hauled out on top of them! Then, off in the distance, a black bear was spotted walking the shoreline of the Endicott Arm. So unexpected!
By 7:30 a.m., we were all outside on the bow of the ship dressed in warm jackets experiencing some of our first wildlife sightings in Alaska’s Southeast. After a hearty breakfast, we ventured out in the ice to experience the face of Dawes Glacier. We could hear her creaks and crashes as we arrived: Then came the calvings. We could not believe our eyes as ice teetered off the terminus of the glacier, falling to the watery floor below it, again and again, feeling lucky each and every time we saw it. In the afternoon, we cruised for wildlife, finding another black bear foraging on the coastline and a large group of surface-active humpback whales with a calf. The whales let us into their life, swirling their pectoral and tail fins at the surface, allowing us to listen to their world. It was an unbelievable day filled to the brim with nature and excitement in wild Alaska.
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