We awoke this morning in the ice age. 65 miles from the mouth of Glacier Bay sits the magnificent tidewater glacier, Margerie. Coffee and tea in hand, we rushed to the bow to spend a spellbinding hour listening to the ice crack, creak, and crash into the frigid waters. We had hoped to see the glacier calve, but what we were not expecting was to see several sea otters hauled out on the nearby icebergs!

After breakfast, we traveled back down Glacier Bay, pausing to watch a couple of brown bears browsing along the shore and a very shy moose that gave us a brief, tantalizing view before disappearing into a wall of alder trees. Moments after the moose disappeared, a humpback popped up on the other side of National Geographic Venture, offering several views of its massive tail as it dove beneath the waves.

We completed our Glacier Bay adventure at South Marble Island, a vital piece of land in the middle of the bay that is home to huge quantities of sea lions, gulls, pigeon guillemots, cormorants, and the first puffins we’ve sighted this year!

We then cruised into Icy Strait where a large group of Dall’s porpoise set upon us. These spunky little cetaceans rode the bow wave of the ship for almost 30 minutes. The fastest marine mammal in these waters, they had little trouble keeping up with us. Eventually they turned west, leaving us to continue towards Tracy and Endicott Arm, where more glaciers await us tomorrow.