We began our day early with some exploration of the Ford’s Terror Wilderness by Zodiac cruise. Because the tides would be changing all day, crew and the expedition team decided to maintain a homogenous cruise – this included a speedy entry into Ford’s Terror, followed by a circulation of the wilderness surrounding our ship, and close encounters with waterfalls pouring down steep granite cliffs. In two separate Zodiac groups, we felt the climate that created and then took part in melting the tidewater glaciers further up the inlet.
After lunch aboard National Geographic Sea Bird, again in two groups, we traveled from the ship by Zodiac toward Dawes Glacier. This tidewater glacier is spanning, active and provocative. We saw harbor seals on ice and quietly lingering in the silty ocean surrounding our vessels. We saw and heard thunderous calving events when the glacier lost mass before our eyes. The reason the glacier, fed by the Stikine Icefield, continues to live and flow is clear by the precipitation we felt on this journey. In the evening, we heard a lecture that explained the connections from ice to the sea, to salmon and back again to fertilize the forest. This sealed our trip with Lindblad/National Geographic.