As we made our way to our anchorage off George Island this morning, we awoke to a beautiful low mist moving in and out of the small islands of Icy Strait and Cross Sound. The open Pacific beckoned to the west, and we felt the swell of the ocean for the first time on our trip. After landing on George Island, kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders took to the water as hikers and photo walkers explored the land. A short reposition during lunch landed us a mere two miles away at Hobbit Hole. We were ready to explore the Inian Islands on Zodiac cruises. Sea otters, sea lions, bald eagles, and other types of wildlife were waiting for us on the rocky shores and in the churning waters. It was a lovely day to explore the northernmost entrance to the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska!
National Geographic Sea Bird
Exploring Tracy Arm
It seems so sudden that we already are on our fourth full day cruising the intricate channels, straits, and fjords of Southeast Alaska. We began with an early morning crossing of the bar in Holkham Bay, not a local juke joint, but rather the end moraine at the mouth of the fjords, a pile of glacial till left by the massive glaciers which long ago carved the over deepened valleys comprising Tracy and Endicott Arms. Protected as a wilderness area in the Tongass National Forest, Tracy Arm is a fjord which carried us for miles into the Coast Range mountains, far closer to the Canadian border than we are to the open Pacific Ocean. The presence of a tidewater glacier was evident as we navigated through icebergs, bergey bits, and growlers—ice shed recently by the South Sawyer Glacier. Incredible landscapes were capped by incredible wildlife as we turned the day into evening while cruising down bay, back across the bar, and out into Stephens Passage. Such a quick trip over the last few days, but the fresh sights, wild landscapes, and abundant wildlife filled our time until late evening as we finally turned north towards our final port of call in Juneau. Our shared experience has brought us together as old and new friends, sharing the spirit of exploration and personal discovery.