Today, National Geographic Venture entered Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. When captain George Vancouver made charts of Southeast Alaska in 1795, nearly the entire bay was filled by the Grand Pacific Glacier. When famed naturalist John Muir came to Glacier Bay in 1879, the glacier had already retreated 45 miles up the bay. Today, we traveled 65 miles through the bay to reach the tidewater glaciers. This relatively rapid retreat has uncovered a rugged and beautiful landscape, and as the ice melted plants and animals returned to the bay. This is a land that has been reborn from under the ice.
National Geographic Venture
The spectacular first day of our voyage was spent in the Fords Terror-Tracy Arm Wilderness. Beginning with pre-breakfast humpback whales that entertained and offered aerobic workout opportunities (by sporadically popping up at varying time intervals around National Geographic Venture ). The remainder of our morning was an awe-inspiring cruise up Tracy Arm Fjord, interspersed with a visit of killer whales. Post-lunch offered opportunities for us to explore via a water level view of icebergs, harbor seals, an occasional mountain goat, and South Sawyer Glacier in our Zodiacs.