Fern Harbor, Glacier Bay National Park

Aug 09, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


Our morning operations were set in motion with hikes heading onto the tidal flat at the north end of Fern Harbor. We were anchored near shore on the southern edge of Glacier Bay National Park. The sun was up, no clouds were in the sky, and the stunning views of the Fairweather Mountains framed our northern skyline. Truly an amazing start to a beautiful day in Southeast Alaska.

We filled our day hiking on shore and kayaking or cruising in expedition landing crafts on the calm water of the bay. Each adventure offered its own rewards. Those on the water caught sight of numerous seabirds from this region—some with fish in their bills! We spotted otters, sea lions, and seals as we cruised the bay and enjoyed the caves and arches that lined the rocky shore.

Our hikers had other options that ranged from leisurely strolls to a challenging bushwhack through rugged terrain and old-growth forest. Outwash from the Brady Glacier nearby left a complicated field of cobbles and boulders that delighted our geologists and our guests! The mudflats nearby revealed the tracks of moose, wolf, and bear that were beautifully preserved.

After returning to the ship, guests relaxed and listened to a talk on the interplay between land and sea in the region. It helped us understand why Southeast Alaska is one of the last, best places on Earth and why we came to see it. A short hop to the town of Gustavus allowed us to pick up our National Park Ranger and native voices interpreter who will accompany us into the heart of Glacier Bay tomorrow.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Grover

Naturalist

Jeff's early introduction to the science of geology came from exposure to his grandfather’s extensive mineral collection and his vivid stories of work in the mines of Aspen Colorado.  From this informal beginning, Jeff earned degrees in geology from the University of Southern California (B.S.) and the University of Arizona (M.S.) where he focused on tectonics and structural geology.  Upon graduation, he worked as a petroleum geologist, and as an engineering geologist engaged in landslide and earthquake hazard mitigation.  He is licensed as a registered geologist in California.

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