During the middle of the night, the National Geographic Venture entered Glacier Bay National Park and sailed with the tide approximately 60 miles into the park. At sunrise, we were treated to beautiful light playing on the mountain peaks of the Fairweather Range and the clouds hovered over the Johns Hopkin Glacier. Just after breakfast, we visited Margerie Glacier listening and watching the glacier calve big pieces of ice into Tarr Inlet. Our thoughtful hotel staff set out a Bloody Mary bar stocked with all the fixings including candied salmon. As we made our way back down the bay, we encounter a total of three coastal brown bear on the shore of Rustle Cut. One interaction appeared to be a large dark male bear pursuing a smaller blonde female bear. Further south we watched a half dozen mountain goats perched on the precarious ledges of Gloomy Knob grazing on grass. Further down the bay we approached the Marble Islands which were teeming with wildlife including a bald eagle, an abundance of sea birds including puffins, and dozens of Northern sea lions hauled out. We headed south into the setting summer sun for another day of adventure in Southeast Alaska.
National Geographic Quest
Early in the morning, National Geographic Quest entered Tracy Arm and sailed up toward the Sawyer and South Sawyer Glaciers. There was a little ‘liquid sunshine,’ aka rain, and fluffy wafting clouds, which is typical Southeast Alaska weather. The fjord has tall, sheer cliff faces and lots of waterfalls that we observed today. We all hopped into our Zodiacs, and the naturalists provided interpretation in front of the Sawyer Glacier. The harbor seals seemed quite curious about our presence. We observed a few minor calving events and lots of bergy bits floating around in the inlet. After the Zodiac tours, there were briefings in the lounge until we spotted a black bear. The ship maneuvered expertly, and we watched the bear eating from the intertidal zone for quite some time. Continuing down the fjord, we saw a variety of birdlife near Holkham Bay and Stephens Passage. We finished our evening by passing by the Five Finger Lighthouse as the sun was setting.