As the sun rose on the third day of this expedition aboard National Geographic Sea Lion, we pulled into the harbor of the charming town of Haines, Alaska. Today’s itinerary let our guests “choose their own adventure,” with several different excursions as possible activities to choose from in both the morning and afternoon. Ranging from rafting in the receding tide in the Chilkat River to soaring through the clouds in a sight-seeing plane above Glacier National Park, we had a thrilling day of adventures that concluded with an appetizing dinner back onboard. We ended the night excited to continue our adventures tomorrow, exploring the untouched wilderness of the Inian Islands.
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.