Tracy Arm & Sawyer Glacier
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 11 May 2022

Tracy Arm & Sawyer Glacier, 5/11/2022, National Geographic Quest

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Alaska

Long before the sun rose over the mountains surrounding the fjord known as Tracy Arm, our guests were lining the outer deck. First light came near 4:30 AM, and with it, excited travelers watched as National Geographic Quest navigated through the tight area known as, “The Narrows.” Throughout the morning, more and more people crowded onto the deck, aghast at the beauty of our surroundings in the fjord. Prior to breakfast, wellness specialist Allison Dickey led a distracted yet packed stretching class flanked by stunning granite on the sundeck.

It was another highly anticipated day on our travel agenda with Zodiac tours traveling through the floating ice of Tracy Arm. In this way, we are able to get much closer to the glaciers than our ship can safely travel. Zigging and zagging through the ice, our tour boats traveled a few extra miles up the fjord towards Sawyer Glacier and South Sawyer Glacier. While we had a clear view of South Sawyer, we were unable to make it to the face due to so much recently calved ice. There were plenty of smiles to go around when the ‘Cocoa Boat’ pulled up. Several members of the staff and crew dressed as Vikings and snuck up behind us in the spare boat. They offered us spiked cocoa, and we accepted happily.

In a jolly mood, our guests enjoyed lunch while showered with sunshine between the mountains. All the while, our captain was repositioning the boat for the Polar Plunge! That is right! We only had five brave volunteers, but all five jumped into the icy waters (43 degrees) and swam beneath a flowing waterfall. The pre-dinner glacier presentation by Dr. Steven Cunha was only just finishing when bears were spotted on the beach. What a lovely surprise for our guests before they filled their tummies.

Photographers: Luke Manson and Shayne Sanders

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