Tracy Arm, South Sawyer Glacier
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 29 Jul 2021

Tracy Arm, South Sawyer Glacier

  • Aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion
  • Alaska

Transiting back and forth into Tracy Arm over the course of a day provides a unique time travel experience. We witness not just the path of the glacially carved fjords but the succession of vegetation that has taken hold on these towering walls. At the mouth of this waterway, we see the future of the landscape, tall Sitka spruce and Western hemlock reaching high and jostling with neighbors for access to the light. As we progress, the alder starts to appear, nestling into any crevice or patches of moss that can support roots, collecting substrate. In the present we reach the force of change, the impressive South Sawyer Glacier, a river of compressed snow and ice that has been pushing its way through mountains to reach the ocean. Like a temporal yo-yo the National Geographic Sea Lion travels this winding route of splendor, absorbing all the wonders we pass along the way.

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