LeConte Bay and Petersburg

Jul 18, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion


This morning we cruised into LeConte Bay surrounded by light drizzle and fog. We noticed ice floating in the water all around the ship. After we bundled up in warm clothes, we headed out into the bay to explore the various ice bergs that were grounded on the exposed terminal moraine. There were many large bergs that were beautifully clear and sculpted, others that were a mesmerizing deep blue color. We picked up a piece of ice and brought it into the Zodiac and were impressed by its slippery texture and cold temperature. Passing through a section of small bits of ice, we shut off the motor of the Zodiac and in the silence of the morning took a few moments to listen the sounds of the air bubbles in the melting ice. A highlight from the morning was seeing a bald eagle flying near a floating block of ice.

After finishing our morning exploration of the ice, we cruised though Frederick Sound and the Wrangell narrows to Petersburg on Mitkof island. We disembarked National Geographic Sea Lion directly onto the floating dock at Petersburg which was a welcome change from the various wet landings throughout the week. In Petersburg with our photo instructor, we explored a variety of Norwegian traditions including Rosemaling which are folk art paintings which decorate a variety of the store fronts. Walks along the docks with our undersea team explored the commercial fishing boats and some of the underwater life under the docks.

Over on Kuprenaof Island guests learned about plants on a hike to a muskeg bog, including sightings of two carnivorous plant species. We also observed the red fruits of the bunchberry. Back on the vessel in the evening we set out back into Frederick Sound while eating a delicious Dungeness crab dinner and watching a preview of our video chronicle. It was a great day with varied activities, sightings, and new experiences.

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About the Author

Dave Katz

Video Chronicler

As a family growing up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, free time was spent in the outdoors. Dave’s mother, an earth science and biology teacher turned weekend hikes into informative lessons. The beautiful gorges, lakes and forests made a lasting impression.

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