We awoke to a surreal world shrouded by fog and etched in fresh raindrops. The Paleocene-aged, granite mountains, still wearing their winter snow coats, peered down through gaps and sunbreaks, shedding light on the memories that we would create on our final day of the voyage. Cruising through bergy bits, we reached our anchorage at Fords Terror. A scouting party went out in a Zodiac to test the well-respected currents that move millions of gallons of water through a narrow gap. Nature proved to be the victor today, and in true expedition style, we bowed our heads to the rapids and turned instead to the fabulous bergs littering the low tide line. In a playground of whimsy, we took this unique opportunity to take photos of each other and explore the seldom seen tide flats and the secret underwater world. When the ocean released its clutches on the waterway known as “the terror,” we took a short Zodiac ride up into the fjord and experience the breathtaking views that were previously inaccessible to us. Naturally, the best way to follow up such a splendid morning was to toss aside all reason and sanity and throw ourselves into the frigid water. Our brave plungers took strides off the Zodiac and immersed themselves in Alaska as only a chosen few do.
The grand finale, the ultimate star of the voyage, was a trip to the face of Dawes Glacier. The rain ceased after replenishing the waterfalls, adding volume to their majestic flows. The constant motion of the ice allowed us to witness several calving events that seemed to stop time with the crack of white thunder and the falling of centuries-old pieces of history. As our Zodiac turned slowly to return to the ship, we let our eyes linger. The ethereal beauty we experienced made us leave behind a small part of our hearts, but we take something much greater back into the world.