Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm

Aug 17, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


National Geographic Sea Bird finally encountered some traditional Alaska weather. As we entered Endicott Arm and traveled toward Dawes Glacier, rain fell from gray skies. The great thing about such conditions is that numerous ephemeral waterfalls—that don’t present without rain—begin to run down the steep, granitic cliffs of Endicott Arm. In addition to this, the perennial waterfalls that occur all year due to snow and ice melt from higher elevations are swelled by the added moisture. We spotted many waterfalls, and some of them could only be described as frothy with force. En route to the glacier, guests enjoyed a program on taking incredible pictures with any type of camera.

Upon setting the expedition landing crafts in the water, the first group of intrepid explorers in warm and waterproof layers headed out to explore the region. This is truly a spectacular part of Southeast Alaska. The overcast day really brought out the richness in the blues of the icebergs. And there was no shortage of icebergs! Some of the sculpted pieces were beyond dazzling. I don’t think anyone would tire of finding ’bergs, looking, exploring, and then traveling on to the next. Repeat. Every single one of them is unique. Every side of them beautiful. You think you have seen the iceberg until you motor around to the other side and it presents as completely different, yet equally beautiful.

After lunch, the second half of the guests were treated to an equally breathtaking adventure, albeit, in slightly less rain. It was easy to say that all who explored Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm were struck by the sheer immensity of the glacier, the grandeur of the landscape and the wonder in the details!

After lunch, adult guests were treated to a Haines spirit-tasting festival in the forward lounge while National Geographic Global Explorers gathered for their own activity. Then the video chronicler presented a preview of the video of this journey. After dinner, guests of all ages celebrated the expedition with a slideshow of their images. Fun and engaging times! A perfect finale for a truly wonderful voyage!

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About the Author

David Jaffe

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For more than 20 years David Jaffe has guided and taught a variety of audiences about our natural world and our connection with it. His childhood interest in natural systems eventually brought him to Evergreen State College where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geology, followed by a M.S in Applied Ecology from the University of Vermont. Mingling an academic background with experience working around the world in exceptionally diverse environments, he is able to efficiently observe, understand, and interpret natural and cultural history.

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