Dundas Bay, Glacier Bay National Park

Aug 07, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion


Today we made our way into Dundas Bay, located within the boundaries of Glacier Bay National Park. Here lies an immense and serene bay – one side framed by granite boulders letting into meadows perfect for bears, the other sloping off into vast grassy wetlands that expand at low-tide, uncovering boot-sucking mud.

Years upon years ago, ice covered this bay leaving only the mountains to reach out and into the sky. The rest was carved out by a solid river of water. Today, Dundas was still with only the occasional breeze coming through from Icy Strait. The sun shone brightly in the blue sky, the tide pushed and pulled from the mouth of the bay.

We headed out by Zodiac, by foot, by kayak – each a chosen method for exploring this seemingly unending landscape. While Zodiacs zipped around, paddles slipped below the surface of the water, and boots made their way through mud and over trees. Here in Dundas Bay we saw a vast variety of life: bears, sea otters, river otters, bald eagles, whales, jellyfish, and more. However, the animals were not the only life we found here. Nagoon berries were out in abundance filling the nearshore with bright photographic subjects. Chocolate lilies, while not yet flowering, were there to be found in the ground. At water level were tangles and tangles of kelp forest, and signs of beautiful life-filled reefs below.

After a full day in Dundas, we pulled our anchor heading down Icy Strait towards the town of Gustavus. Here near the entrance of Glacier Bay, we picked up our old expedition friend Kim Heacox. A prominent Alaskan writer, conservationist, musician, and invaluable fixture of Lindblad. As the moon rose, Kim sang and regaled us with stories of life in Alaska, of finding friends and purpose in a land still untamed.

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About the Author

Kayvon Malek

Undersea Specialist

In 2011 Kayvon’s life changed when he took his first breath underwater. After signing up for a SCUBA course on a whim while studying at the University of California, Santa Cruz he soon shifted his major and focus in life. He graduated in 2015 after studying Environmental Studies and Biology, focusing on marine conservation. By that time, he was an AAUS certified Scientific Diver aiding in field research, a NAUI Divemaster, and had begun working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium sharing the wonder of the ocean that captivated him four years prior.

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