Happy Glacier Bay Day!
As we edge a little closer to our last days voyaging together, National Geographic Quest made her way through the night towards Glacier Bay. At 5:00 a.m., we made a brief docking to pick up our cultural interpreter who would later guide us through the sacred First Nation territory. Guests had been looking forward to the opportunity to get up close and personal with the beautiful walls of ice in this famous National Park. They did not disappoint. The temperature was so mild that there were even a couple pairs of shorts on the bow when we stopped to enjoy the view of Margerie Glacier. A towering turret of ice tilted forward off the front of her face in the heavy midday sun. Whispers were heard all around as we stared at the spot, certain it wouldn’t last the day, but wondering if it would last until we left. The captain had already started turning the ship when a loud crack of ice, not much smaller than our own vessel, calved and smashed into the ocean below. Captain Lyons came over the PA system to advise us to hold on and watch as the wave in front of us crested white. A once in a lifetime experience.
After our guests lunched in view of Johns Hopkins Glacier, we headed through Russell’s Cut to look for more wildlife. Before we were able to make it far, a giant brown bear was spotted on Russell Island right in front of us. It must have swam out for a break from the mainland! As pictures of the gorgeous beast were snapped, the sound of humpback blowing was heard on the opposite side of the bow. A few moments later, we were rewarded with a full breach from her. Then we headed further down the bay in search of more wildlife. At Gloomy Knob, we hoped to show our guests a one-of-a-kind experience with mountain goats. But the presence of two more brown bears had cleared the mountain…or so we thought. In fact, it had only moved them down to a steeper ledge. We ended up seeing seventeen total goats with three nursing kids! Holy smokes!
It was an unforgettable day filled with adrenaline rushes. After dinner, we took a calming hike through the forest at Bartlett Cove with our naturalists. Everyone slept well after the day we shared.