Tracy Arm and Holkham Bay
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 15 Jun 2022

Tracy Arm and Holkham Bay, 6/15/2022, National Geographic Quest

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Alaska

A high-pressure system moved over Southeast Alaska overnight, and when we awoke we were deep within Tracy Arm with a sunny sky and not a cloud in sight. A brisk morning turned warm as the sun rose higher and illuminated the deep waters of the fjord. We launched our Zodiacs just after breakfast and headed towards South Sawyer Glacier. Before we got far, we spotted mountain goats down low along the shoreline headed for patches of rockweed, which gave us superb views of these cliff-dwelling animals. The ice was pushed up right against the glacier face, providing an easy route for our Zodiacs as we positioned ourselves to view the mighty glacier. It was a quiet morning for the glacier, despite the sun, but we were kept entertained by the numerous harbor seals and their young pups. They lay on the bergs enjoying the sun and occasionally diving to hunt for food. We were lucky enough to happen across a recently born pup, and the afterbirth was being fought over by four bald eagles as well as numerous gulls and crows. As we finished our operations and prepared for lunch, South Sawyer awoke! We were lucky to witness two thunderous calving events just before our long cruise back towards Holkham Bay.

In the afternoon we cruised down the fjord heading for open water. The weather was sunny and warm; we enjoyed the beautiful views of the fjord’s walls and mountains. We stopped along the way for a visit with the hole-in-the-wall waterfall. As we cruised along, we encountered many a marbled murrelet at the bar in Holkham Bay along with two humpback whales. We turned north as we exited Holkham Bay and sailed towards another day full of activities and wildlife in Southeast Alaska. A wonderful and very sunny day in Alaska.

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