Tracy Arm

Jul 22, 2019 - National Geographic Venture


Clear skies and the crisp morning air welcomed us into Tracy Arm. As we sailed deeper into the fjord, we took in the majestic sights of towering mountains and hanging glaciers as ice floated by. After a brief and beautiful stop at “hole in the wall,” an aptly named waterfall with a circular indent in its rock face, we started to spot black bears. We interrupted our morning program to all go out on the bow and look for the wildlife. Over the next hour we saw three separate black bears feeding in the intertidal zone on mussels and barnacles. One had a striking golden stripe down the center of its body, another was a deep black. It was a great sighting, and lovely to start the trip with great wildlife sightings.

After lunch, we set out onto Zodiacs to get close to the face of South Sawyer Glacier. We zipped through the ice under sunny skies until the full sight of the glacier was in view. From deep blue shooters rising from the seafloor to cascades of ice booming as they fall into the ocean, this massive and active glacier put on quite a show for us. Seals hauled out on ice slipped into the water and curiously circled our Zodiac while we took in this amazing environment.

On the trip back to National Geographic Venture, we stopped for some up-close time with waterfalls and some distant looks at mountain goats. The beauty of this place wasn’t lost on us, and it was a great start to a wonderful week.

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About the Author

Steve Backus

Naturalist

Born in the mountains of East Tennessee, it was easy for Steve to fall in love with the wonderful natural environment that surrounded him. What started as a childhood passion to scan the creeks and ponds for all they would reveal evolved into a studied desire to understand the environments around us.

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