The second morning of our expedition found us in the glassy calm of Dundas Bay surrounded by fog-shrouded mountains. Sea otters, marbled murrelets, and a brown bear patrolling the intertidal were our welcoming committee. We explored this part of Glacier Bay National Park on foot and by tours in our expedition landing craft. In the afternoon, we visited nearby Idaho Inlet for kayaking, paddle boarding and walks near Fox Creek. Post dinner we marveled at a congregation of humpback whales in the middle of Icy Strait as the sun set over Glacier Bay.
National Geographic Sea Bird
It rained today. It rained all day. It’s Southeast Alaska—it’s supposed to rain. We’ve been spoiled by the last two days of warm sunshine but the return to a more normal temperate rainforest day didn’t hamper our excitement. Today was a day of adventure, today we went somewhere new. Somewhere our expedition leader, Sarah Friedlander, picked out on a map based on topography and what little information she could gather. We explored the Etolin wilderness today, and it did not disappoint. We spent our morning kayaking amongst thousands of moon jellies and then ventured in Zodiacs up a stream teeming with pink salmon. We then continued north to Steamer Bay where we were able to hike along the margins of an active salmon stream, and across meadows filled with evidence of bear activity and into old growth forest. The salmon carcasses were everywhere, having been transported by birds and bears away from the stream. Traffic jams of pink salmon backed up at forks in the rapids, all pushing up the current. The wildlife was as abundant as the rain. We were all soaked through by the end of the day, but it was so very worth it to see Alaska in this way: wild, pristine, untouched. Absolutely the best day of the season.