A small contingent of early risers, with their breath and cups of coffee steaming, smiled as if some secret, unknown to the rest of the ship, had been whispered in their ears. We were gathered on the bow, witnessing the curtain of a cool morning sun creep slowly across the south faces of domed rocks in the east. Blue-tinged glacial ice bobbed in the cold water, rocking gently in the ripples of our slowly spreading bow wake. Somewhere in the distance, a bald eagle greeted the dawn with a high-pitched chortle.

This is morning in Tracy Arm––a narrow fiord, carved by ice into what John Muir once called, “Yosemite in the making.”