Dark, looming mountains shrouded in fog soared up into the gray rain clouds on either side of National Geographic Sea Lion when we stepped out onto the deck this morning. Ice in every shade of blue drifted silently by as we navigated our way further down the fjord in search of its source. When the ship could go no further, we shifted to our Zodiacs to nimbly weave our way through the garden of ice, finally arriving at the face of the magnificent architect behind the ethereal landscape surroundings us.

We marveled at Dawes Glacier, all that it is and has been responsible for creating. To get an even closer look at this wild place we worked our way down the fjord, stopping at a cove along the way to get a view from sea level via kayaks. As the hours quickly waned, the sun made a brief appearance creating rainbows and highlighting the breath of orcas cruising along near the mouth of the fjord. As we all clamored for better views of these amazing predators, we found ourselves using them as directional markers to locate a black bear foraging along the intertidal. Only the loss of daylight could convince us to head back inside and prepare for another day exploring the grandeur that is Southeast Alaska.