Glacier Bay National Park
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 17 May 2022

Glacier Bay National Park, 5/17/2022, National Geographic Quest

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park is really one of the jewels of the United States National Park system. Our day consisted of sailing north through approximately 65 miles of bay. The area was exposed over the last 250 years as the Grand Pacific Glacier retreated from the Icy Strait and then moved south back down the bay. The early morning was quiet, and patches of sun peeked through the clouds to illuminate the mountains surrounding the bay. A few sea otters floated by, and lots of birds were present while we made our way northbound.

As we progressed through the park, cultural interpreter Paulette gave a talk and answered questions about the Tlingit. Before it was a bay, the area was the ancestral homeland of the Tlingit people. It is always a privilege to hear about the history of an area from its descendants.

Margerie Glacier, the tidewater glacier at the most northern point of the bay, is a crowd pleaser. We listened to the glacier snap, crackle, and pop before and after calving into the ocean. Today we saw sea otters hauled out on several bergy bits.

Sailing south, we turned into Johns Hopkins Inlet to see Lamplugh Glacier. We observed the Johns Hopkins Glacier from Jaw Point. After lunch, we sailed southbound looking for wildlife. At Gloomy Knob, we saw mountain goats, Steller sea lions, humpback whales, and a couple tufted puffins. South Marble Island offered us even closer views of Steller sea lions, several sea otters, and a lot of birdlife.

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