Endicott Arm | Dawes Glacier | Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 30 Jun 2019

Endicott Arm | Dawes Glacier | Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness, 6/30/2019, National Geographic Quest

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Alaska

The first day in Alaska did not disappoint. After a night spent in transit from Juneau towards  Endicott Arm, everyone awoke to humpback whales off the starboard side of the ship. Not a bad way to start our week in Southeast Alaska. Making our way up the Endicott Arm, the steep walls of the fjord began to tower over us. Waterfalls and green vegetation lined the walls as we crept in on Dawes Glacier. Rounding the last bend in the arm, the whole of Dawes Glacier comes into distant view.

To get a closer look, we boarded Zodiacs and headed further up the arm towards the glacier. Harbor seals lay lackadaisically on the ice soaking up the midday sun as we pass by. As the Zodiac engine slows, the popping sound of the ice fills the air. Weaving our way through the ice field, the deceptive size of the glacier (immense) becomes more apparent. We find ourselves staring at the massive face of Dawes Glacier at the end of the fjord. Dawes is a tide-water glacier, calving ice straight into the seawater. We sit and wait patiently to catch a glimpse of the glacier calving into the water. It does not take long to witness the sight we came for. A large slab of ice falls from the face of the glacier in what appears to be slow motion. Creating a huge explosion of upturned water, the sound of the impact arriving seconds later. With big frozen smiles on their face, the group made its way back to the ship.

The first day at sea ended in the same way that it began. Humpback whales were spotted off the starboard side of the ship as we made our way out of the mouth of the Endicott Arm. The whales put on a show for us as we finished our dinner, the flukes of the whales easily visible against the golden sunset backdrop. A great way to end our first day in Southeast Alaska.

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