Glacier Bay, Alaska, 5/18/2023, National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest
We woke this morning cruising up the west arm of Glacier Bay National Park. Surrounded by thick alders, budding cottonwoods, and young spruces, it was hard to imagine that the land around Russell Island was covered in ice 120 years ago. But the ice has receded, and a parade of life has followed with humpback whales, brown bears, mountain goats, and a rich diversity of seabirds. So many animals call this magical place home.
We got to see several of these animals today, including a couple of napping bears and several mountain goats on a dramatic rock face called Gloomy Knob. After a quick stop at South Marble Island to observe some rambunctious Steller sea lions, we docked in Bartlett Cove, home of the park’s headquarters. We got a quick chance to stretch our legs and enjoy a beautiful sunset before casting off and setting course for the Inian Islands.
David has lived in Alaska since he was five years old and got his first taste of outdoor adventure on backpacking and camping trips in the Anchorage area. After graduating from high school, David spent two chilly winters in Fairbanks before finding h...
Another sunny morning greeted National Geographic Quest on our transit of the waters of British Columbia. The higher of the peaks surrounding us, still painted white with stubborn winter snowpack, reflected the sunshine as it grew brighter over the impressive, spruce-covered rock walls. As we navigated the glassy waters of Jervis Inlet on the way to our morning destination, our explorers filed into the dining room for an indulgent breakfast of banana chocolate chip pancakes. Zodiac tours departed from the ship’s fantail and headed through a bottleneck at the entrance to Princess Louisa Inlet. On either side of us, towering rock faces were riddled with tall, spindly waterfalls, each more impressive than the last. Colorful male birds in peak breeding season flaunted their vibrant plumage. Among them were common mergansers, surf scoters, and Barrow’s goldeneyes. Harbor seals cautiously observed us from afar as we slowed to admire their cuteness. Once we reached the end of the fjord, we disembarked for a short hike to the raging Chatterbox Waterfall. With tons of native plant species in full bloom, the scents along the trail were fresh and floral. Back at the dock, tiny moon jellies and lion’s manes hovered a few meters beneath the chilly and productive spring waters. The jellies propelled themselves through the waters alongside juvenile fish and mussel-covered pylons. As we made our way back to the ship, we spotted more harbor seals and a playful river otter. Back on board, we set off down Jervis Inlet to the Salish Sea to continue our journey north. We made one pitstop before leaving the inlet, and we were all mesmerized by a 1,400-foot-high waterfall viewed from the bow of the ship. A fantastic day four of our voyage ended as we continued our journey north. Our hearts are full, and our sense of wonder is heightened and awaiting continued adventure as we roam the seas in search of more treasures of the Inside Passage.