What a week. We’ve seen amazing things lately, much of which was caught digitally. I feel sadly inadequate with my photography skills but enjoy taking shots of all the true beauty that has surrounded us. Best part, 6 days of warm sunshine! We’ve had hatches open overnight.
Best day of this trip so far was June 4th. Many of the things we had hoped to see and do came to pass that day. We approached the Tracy Arm and Endicott Arms (fjords) with glaciers. We spotted icebergs on the water and huge ice fields up high. With much anticipation we anchored in “No Name” cove to stage for the journey to see glaciers the following morning. As we were settling into our new anchorage I spotted a bear on shore in the anchorage. We quickly deployed the dinghy and slowly approached shore. I couldn’t believe my eyes…a mamma grizzly bear and her 3 cubs. She noticed us, found us not to be a threat, and just did her thing with babies in tow. After the nature show, Mike decided to try his luck at fishing. He has become very impatient with fishing and has spent most of his time crabbing. After less than an hour I heard knocking on the hull and an anxious husband in need of help. Yes, he landed a 30 lb. halibut from the dinghy. So for the next hour he posed, clubbed, filleted, cleaned, packaged and bathed. Big fish are a lot of work, but worth every minute. The results have been about 10+ pounds of thick delicious fillets. I am discovering many different ways to prepare halibut steaks and enjoying the process. You see, we have to eat them as quickly as possible so that he can get more! Later that same evening, we enjoyed another family bear viewing and took more pictures.
Next day we traveled up Tracy Arm to see the Sawyer Glaciers but due to the number of large icebergs in the fjords we had to turn back. Although a cruise ship had to do so, we thought that it would be possible for a much smaller vessel but no joy. So we enjoyed looking at all the shapes and colors of icebergs. Speaking of ice bergs, Mike and I decided to obtain some glacier ice for cocktail via the dinghy and a hammer. Another cruiser told us that it melts very slowly, which we found to be true. Who knows, maybe it’s so old (1,000 years?) that it’s the fountain of youth…or maybe not. It’s cheap entertainment anyway.
So, the following day we traveled up the Endicott Arm to see Dawes glacier. We passed Sum Dum Glacier (sounds like something on an Asian menu) and got close enough to view Dawes Glacier. We heard the cannon sound which accompanies calving but never saw it do so. That day we enjoyed lots of seals lounging on icebergs and spotted a humpback too. On our way back to the anchorage there was Ford’s Terror. The name was in fact intimidating. We decided to anchor the mother ship in a cove nearby and launch the dink quickly to pass rapids at slack and enjoy the fjord. The guide book described it accurately; Yosemite Valley on the water with no people (with the exception of the small National Geographic guides and their passengers). It was unforgettable and spectacular. Huge waterfalls, giant walls of geologic wonder, birds, forest, rock slides, marshes, snow and more waterfalls were everywhere in the narrow, tall, fjord. My pictures are really a poor representation of what we saw. Ford’s Terror was our favorite place visually so far, simply amazing.
No more glaciers or fjords for now as it’s time to head for the capital of Alaska, Juneau. Here we will explore until our son Devon joins us on the 25th from here to Sitka. We can’t wait!