We are starting to wonder if this weather is the new normal in Alaska. Yesterday was pushing 80 degrees and we were greeted again this morning with epic warm weather. The pink sky at 3:30am transitioned into various shades of blue until the sun was beaming on the Fairweather Range as we sailed up Glacier Bay National Park. The perfect reflection of the glaciers, mountains and forest in the water was a magical way to start our day as we made it all the way to the end of the bay. Just after breakfast, we visited Margerie Glacier and witness one of Mother Nature’s kind gifts of a calving tidewater glacier under a blue sky. As we made our way back down the bay, we encountered a brown bear sow and cub on the shore eating crustaceans in the intertidal zone, a few mountain goats on Gloomy Knob, and a couple of humpback whales breeching. What a perfect day in Glacier Bay National Park.
National Geographic Venture
Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park is the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit clans. Covering over three million acres of land, this striking environment lends itself well to discussions about primary succession, a characteristic of temperate rainforests and glaciation. National Geographic Venture started its day with hikes and photography instruction around Bartlett Cove. The ship’s naturalists discussed various aspects of primary succession and temperate rainforests while finding baneberry, fiddleheads, and morel mushrooms. The hikes ended with observing the preserved skeleton of a whale named Snow, a humpback whale killed by a ship strike in 2001. Once all crew and guests were on board, the ship ventured farther into Glacier Bay National Park. Along the way, we observed incredible sightings of humpback whales, Steller sea lions, sea otters, tufted puffins, bald eagles, and a variety of other animals. Farther north, we passed by Gloomy Knob where guests and staff spotted mountain goats whose white fur contrasted well with the dark rocky habitat. Finally, guests and staff celebrated the end of another magical day in Southeast Alaska with cocktail hour while viewing Margerie Glacier calving. The incredible landscape of Southeast Alaska, and particularly Glacier Bay, is an awe-inspiring world that lends itself to exploration and conservation.