Glacier Bay National Park

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 17 Jun 2021

Glacier Bay National Park, 6/17/2021, National Geographic Quest

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Alaska

We awoke deep inside Glacier Bay National Park with blue skies and glassy seas. Throughout the day, we were mesmerized by the dramatic scenery. Shortly after breakfast we approached Margerie Glacier. Huge flocks of kittiwakes were feeding amongst the outflow, while puffins were spotted in the water. Some excellent calvings of ice proved exciting, not only for the huge splashes but also the sounds. Huge snow-covered peaks surrounded us in every direction.

 

Wildlife was abundant today. Sea lions, seals, and otters were spotted all day long. At Gloomy Knob, numerous mountain goats were relaxing in the sun. And many brown bears were spotted as well, including one beautiful pale bear feeding in the intertidal zone. A male and female bear were quite amorous, with the female actively pursuing the male down the beach at a rapid pace. 

 

After dinner, we entered Icy Strait and were surrounded by whales. Everywhere one looked, humpback whales could be seen. We not only heard them on our hydrophone, making all kinds of ribbit type noises, but we saw nearly all behaviors. Breaching, tail lobbing, fluking, and lunge feeding were all observed. We even saw a few cooperative bubble nets. All this with a fiery sunset over the Fairweather range. It doesn’t get any better than today!

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