Following a short Zodiac ride to the rocky shore, we hiked toward the Bernal Glacier along a wide gravel path through a wild garden. Tall prickly heath shrubs lined both sides of the path. Laden with both pink and red berries and lantern-shaped white blossoms, these seemed to sprout up through a carpet of the round geranium-like leaves of devil’s strawberry.

Further along the path, several bushes of hardy fuchsias were draped in pink and purple flowers. A few minutes spent nearby provided glimpses of flitting green-backed firecrown hummingbirds and the opportunity to closely observe the endangered Bombus dahlbomii, the world’s largest bumblebee.

Another half mile down the path, as we neared the face of the Bernal Glacier, a muddle of glacier-tumbled rocks spat out at its base. From this vantage point, the glacier revealed its full height and raw power, its slopes bathed in crystalline hues of blue and white as sunlight danced off its massive surface.

After lunch, a few sea lions and pods of Peale’s dolphins entertained us as we awaited a short window of time when the tide was still high enough to allow the captain of National Geographic Resolution to swiftly maneuver through the Kirke Narrows.