Endicott Arm in dappled light! Not much can compare. This long, straight fjord cutting deep into the coast range of Southeast Alaska is, as John Muir described it, “a wild, unfinished Yosemite.” We took to Zodiacs to inch as close as possible to the Dawes Glacier. This tidewater glacier helped create the landscape that surrounded us today. The landscape that surrounded us in Ford’s Terror this afternoon was equally stunning. Kayaks, standup paddleboards, and Zodiacs took to the water. Geology dominated the horizon, some of the finest one could ever hope to observe.
Today was the third full day of our expedition in Southeast Alaska. The day started with anticipation and excitement. We woke up in LeConte Bay, and we were ready to take the Zodiacs into a fjord filled with icebergs and chunks of ice. Some of the ice was so old that it glowed with a stunning blue light that only glacial ice can reveal. The wildlife made its presence known as we explored the surreal and floating ice. Harbor porpoises, harbor seals, marbled murrelets, and goldeneye ducks crossed our bows before taking flight or swimming off to places only they know. After lunch, the ship arrived in Thomas Bay, and we readied ourselves for an afternoon exploration of the coastal temperate rainforest. Landing the Zodiacs ashore, we climbed the Cascade Creek hiking trail to see the splendid array of life in the forest. As we moved up the steep trail, we were greeted by falling water that called out loudly for all to enjoy. Today was a fine day to explore Southeast Alaska.
This morning, we were welcomed with true Alaskan weather as we docked in the small Alaskan town of Wrangell located near the mouth of the famous Stikine River. Fortunately, the weather did not prevent us from taking a trip on a jet boat up the fast-moving river to explore the wild interior. After lunch, we headed into town for a very personal and intimate presentation at the Tlingit longhouse of Chief Shakes. It was Sunday, so the town was pretty quiet. The rain took notice and decided to take a rest as well, which was fine with us. We made our way outside to check out Petroglyph Beach and summit Mount Dewy, the imposing hill overlooking the town of Wrangell with inspired views of the surrounding beauty. Looking back, it is hard to believe that we did all this in one day!