Wow, what an introduction to Southeast Alaska! Our day started at Holkham Bay, crossing the bar surrounded by surf scoters, Bonaparte’s gull, loons, marbled murrelets, and pigeon guillemots. As we started down Endicott Arm, we were soon interrupted by two brown bears and a multitude of bald eagles along the shoreline. One brown bear searched at the foot of an iceberg left high and dry by the tide as a bald eagle watched from atop—a quintessential Southeast Alaskan view.
The surprises didn’t stop as we continued up the fjord. Before lunch we happened across a black bear in the middle of the arm. It rested on an iceberg as we watched, in total shock at what we were seeing. It soon looked to find a way off the iceberg to continue its journey across Endicott, but the ice gave out and in it went! As we departed, we watched it swim off to another iceberg, not quite ready to give up resting.
And the day didn’t stop after lunch! After eating, we headed out on Zodiacs into the ice-filled end of Endicott Arm. As we weaved around the icebergs, we took in the side valleys out of which poured rivers from the tongues of hanging glaciers tucked into the back of each U-shaped valley. The cloudy day accentuated the blue of the large bergs we encountered, providing the perfect light for Dawes Glacier’s works of art. At last we approached Dawes’ face and watched ice calve into the fjord with the sound of white thunder not far behind. After returning to the ship, we settled into dinner and eased out of the fjord as rain and night began to fall.