Today National Geographic Sea Bird and its crew came out swinging, kicking off our expedition by cruising into Endicott Arm. After breakfast, we launched our Zodiac fleet and set out for the Dawes Glacier face. As we weaved in and out of brash ice, nosed into waterfalls, and sailed deep into the Endicott Arm, we finally arrived at the brilliant blue sapphire face of the glacier. We inched closer and closer, eyes glued to the mile-wide frozen river, when suddenly, a massive serac calved off the face in what felt like slow motion. A thunderous clap rang out as the falling crystals broke and hit the water below. It was an emotional rush for all, and a treat to experience such a mighty force of nature. As we wrapped up our Zodiac tours and began cruising back towards Holcomb Bay, we soon met a humpbacked friend as well as a few Steller sea lions. We even got a wonderful view of Sum Dum Glacier as we cruised by. The day concluded with feelings of wonder and gratitude from today’s excursions and spirits are full of anticipation for what tomorrow holds.
National Geographic Sea Bird
This morning we woke in Saook Bay with beautifully calm overcast conditions, mist on the mountains, and an intermittent sprinkling of rain. Three brown bears were spotted onshore from the ship’s bow before 7 a.m. by our early-rising naturalist. Several guests joined the early morning observations, while others joined the stretch class with our wellness specialist. After breakfast, kayakers and paddleboarders took to Saook Bay for a peaceful paddle. Global Explorers had a special shore expedition to experience the intertidal zone, where they learned to make kelp horns and rattles. Then we ramped up the energy for both participants and spectators during our exciting Polar Plunge into the cold Southeast Alaskan waters. With everyone back on board to enjoy conversations over lunch, we sailed to a small bay for an afternoon of hiking on the trailhead to Lake Eva. Hiking in the temperate rainforest after this morning’s light rain provided many photo opportunities of water droplets on leaves and moss, fabulous fungi, and vibrant berries. One highlight for everyone on the trail was seeing a mama brown bear with her young cub in the creek. She was catching pink salmon and sharing it with her cub. We even saw them both take short swims. With the excitement of this sighting still fresh on our minds, we then watched a cluster of humpback whales spout and fluke as we approached the fantail of National Geographic Sea Bird. A short while later these same whales began bubble-net and lunge feeding! Wow! There’s just so much to experience here in Southeast Alaska.