Petersburg and Le Conte Bay
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 14 Jun 2021

Petersburg and Le Conte Bay, 6/14/2021, National Geographic Quest

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Alaska

We arrived this morning at the small and picturesque fishing town of Petersburg, located on the northeastern portion of Mitkof Island. The colorful houses and fishing boats shined under the sunny sky, and we were all excited about the many possibilities ahead. After a delicious breakfast we explored a local muskeg and learned how plants like the sundew and shore pine have adapted to survive in that acidic environment.

Some guests opted to ride bicycles, while others boarded our Zodiacs and visited the fishing docks. We learned about the fisheries in town and saw different types of fishing boats around, including seiners, trawlers, gill netters and long liners. Many vessels were busy loading traps to capture the delicious Dungeness crabs, which we would be having for dinner tonight.

We also got close to some interesting marine life exposed at low tide in plain view on the pillars and rocks around the docks. We saw several large mottled sea stars, barnacles, mussels, and sea weed. Meanwhile, large giant plumose anemones, polychaete worms, and jellyfish appeared just below the surface.

After leaving Petersburg, the National Geographic Quest headed to Le Conte Bay on the mainland; there we boarded our Zodiacs again and had a wonderful time photographing and admiring the spectacular blue icebergs calved off the Le Conte glacier, the southernmost tidewater glacier in the northern hemisphere. The terminal moraine at the mouth of the bay acts like a barrier that trap those huge icebergs, making the area a wonderful place to explore. The incredible blue color of glacial ice delighted everyone. We took many pictures, including some of the very moment when one iceberg rolled over, a good reminder why we should not get too close to them.

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