Southeast Alaska gave us the real Southeast Alaskan experience today. We awoke to a light rain and low clouds as we entered Tracy Arm. As we sailed 40 miles up the arm, we were met with mist, mixed clouds, and sunshine. The changing skies highlighted all the moods of the steep walls of the fjord. Peaks disappeared into the mist. As the clouds lifted, the peaks reappeared, and the sun glinted off hundreds of waterfalls running down the walls. Before lunch, we ventured up the northern sub-fjord to see Sawyer Glacier, which has recently retreated so it is no longer a tidewater glacier.
After lunch, we hopped onto our Zodiacs and cruised through the ice-filled fjord. We enjoyed the harbor seal pups and mothers hauled out on ice as we made our way to the glacier. We turned the corner and saw South Sawyer Glacier rise up above us. The glacier was thunderous today, constantly calving pillars and sheets of ice into the deep water at its face. It was an incredible show of the power of ice, though bittersweet. As South Sawyer Glacier continues to retreat, it may soon no longer meet the ocean, and the sound of white thunder will be lost and no longer echo through Tracy Arm.