At 5:00 a.m., our usual cast of guests joined together on deck to pass through Holkam Bay into Tracy Arm. They had been warned about the beauty of this advance and had responded appropriately. The geology is unique and dramatic, and it has captured the attention of our guests for years. We traveled through miles of awe-inspiring granite cliffs diving into icy waters towards the glaciers that lay beyond. In a shocking development, we were able to navigate National Geographic Sea Bird artfully through the icy mounds south of Sawyer Island. From this vantage point, it would only be a few miles in the Zodiacs to the face of South Sawyer Glacier.
It was a truly lucky day. Our Zodiacs freely approached the half-mile face of South Sawyer with minimal distress. Along the way, we viewed the hauled out harbor seals sunning themselves upon the floating ice. It is impossible to be prepared for one’s first sight of the glacier’s face, and it was easy to hear audible gasps amongst our guests. We were treated to multiple minor calving events with thundering echoes while we gazed upon the beauty of the face of South Sawyer. A Lindblad tradition had an extra boat weaving in and out of the ice. The boat was filled with crew dressed as Vikings to deliver spiked hot cocoa. All were surprised and satiated.
After we left Tracy Arm and began our way toward Juneau, our staff gave a recap of our good fortune and dinner was enjoyed. A viewing of the guest photo slideshow brought a smile to everyone’s face as the night came to an end. A truly amazing voyage.