Daily Expedition Reports
Glacier Bay National Park
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 06 Jul 2021

Glacier Bay National Park

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Alaska

This morning we awoke to the cloudy mysteries of Glacier Bay. We started with breakfast by the Lamplugh Glacier and then cruised through milky blue waters filled with floating ice to the Johns Hopkins Glacier. The magnificent wall of the glacier demonstrated its flow and activity by calving and crumbling before our eyes, amplified by the crashing sounds as the ice shifts. On the ice floes we saw seals happily resting in their favored banana pose. Along the cliff faces a colony of kittiwakes crowded the ledges and filled the air.

 

Later we re-entered the main channel of Glacier Bay and as we rounded Russel Island, we caught sight of several brown bears along the coastline. Further down along the cliff of Gloomy Knob (aptly named because the snow-capped mountains were still dodging in and out of the clouds), we saw a family of mountains goats perched on small grassy outcrops hanging over the ocean. Just beyond at Tidal Inlet we saw a brown beer munching in a grassland. On closer inspections we also noticed a black bear high on the hill side, and a horned grebe hanging out in the stream.

 

As the day grew longer, we caught sight of several whale spouts by North Sandy Cove. As we rounded the islands, we realized there was a pod of at least five humpback whales, including a little calf, all breaching and showing off their tails. The grand finale was South Marble Island, which was covered with sea lions of every size, from big bulls to young pups. Cormorants stood proud on the rock faces stretching their long necks, while horned and tufted puffins swam and flew about.

 

Turns out, I was wrong. The grand finale was seeing humpback whales lunge feeding in a group at sunset. An incredible day in Glacier Bay National Park, a national treasure.

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