It was a cloudless day over the protected marine waters and snowy land of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. This was unusual weather for Southeast Alaska, but it was enjoyable. Our first stop was South Marble Island where we saw Steller’s sea lions, tufted puffins, common murres, and floating sea otters. Farther up the eastern side, we slipped into the still, reflective waters of Tidal Inlet. Looking down on us were no less than a dozen mountain goats, scattered and perched on the cliffs. Gloomy Knob gave us more views of sea lions and goats as we cruised up to Margerie Glacier. This is one of the last tidewater glaciers, or a river of ice that flows and calves into the sea. The floating ice is critical for harbor seals who use it for protection from predators. We ended the day with a hike at Bartlett Cove, park headquarters.
National Geographic Sea Bird
After a comfortable evening sail through Johnstone Strait, we arrived in Tenedos Bay within the Desolation Sound Marine Park just prior to sunrise. The morning views were spectacular with wispy bands of mist on the tree-covered mountains, clear skies, and a hint of orange in the sky reflecting off the glassy waters as the sun rose. Many guests enjoyed the early morning views from all decks as oystercatchers and belted kingfishers sounded off with the rising sun. Conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for kayaking and standup paddleboarding in the morning. The calm waters made for a beautifully peaceful yet aerobic paddle as we explored around a small island within Tenedos Bay. Amongst the red cedars and the Douglas firs, the sunlight highlighted the red bark of the Pacific madrones, locally known here as arbutus trees. These trees are becoming much more prevalent as we journey southward on this, “Remarkable Journey: Alaska, British Columbia, and Haida Gwaii. Prior to lunch, the fun continued for both participants and spectators alike during our Polar Plunge! The plunge wear was varied and included a pink Power Ranger suit and a Gumby suit worn by Second Mate Jenna. It was so much fun with laughter and smiles all around, and it made for some fun lunchtime conversations. For the afternoon, we opted to remain anchored at this beautiful place and took scenic Zodiac cruises to explore the area more. Harbor seals, kingfishers, and many oysters were among the nature we spotted. Today was a fantastic final full day on board National Geographic Sea Bird . Experiences and memories that will last have been made during our voyage. Tomorrow morning, we disembark in Vancouver.