As I travel through
Alaska over and over, it is increasingly rare that I discover something
entirely novel. There are plenty of unique moments every day, but rarely do I
have experiences that are completely news. Today was one of those days.
Prior to this novel
event, though, I had the privilege of convening our youthful Global Explorers.
We discussed aspirations for our adventure, forged new friendships, and donned
new expedition gear. We were truly ready for whatever was to come. Bundled and
enthused, we boarded Zodiacs for a cruise up the fjord into Endicott Arm. It
was at the very beginning of this cruise that I had my aforementioned novel
experience: grounded against the walls of the fjord was a massive iceberg. Left
ashore and totally stabilized by the low tide, we had the chance to nose our
boat up to the berg and touch it. Myself, our driver, and all guests were in
complete awe. Our 19-foot craft was totally dwarfed by the berg. It was one of
Alaska’s quintessential humbling moments.
Departing the iceberg, our drivers navigated the ice masterfully and positioned themselves a safe distance away from the glacier to watch it calve. Massive spires and icy boulders careened from on high into the water sending booming sounds through the canyon. Unbothered by the noise, seals loafed on ice, often cuddling with their young.
Following our cruises, guests had the chance to kayak in a secluded cove. A sprawling meadow met the water and eagle-eyed visitors spotted black bears among the sedges. Large mammals were hardly the only wildlife highlights. Avians from rufous hummingbirds to bald eagles zipped through the sky. Now we sail for Cascade Creek, ready for the adventures tomorrow will bring.