It was another beautiful day onboard National Geographic Sea Bird with comfortable temperatures and no rain all day! We spent our morning at LeConte Bay, and while the LeConte glacier was out of sight, we did cross the terminal moraine in our Zodiacs to explore the shallower water and check out some icebergs. The ‘bergs we encountered were spectacular: many as big as houses, and in every shade of that beautiful glacial blue. These icebergs calved off the Le Conte Glacier, which is the northern hemisphere’s southernmost tidewater glacier. Since its discovery, the glacier has retreated two and a half miles, a progression which has been studied and documented since 1983 by students at nearby Petersburg High School.
After lunch, we repositioned to Ideal Cove, which lived up to its name by giving us a magical afternoon in a textbook Southeast Alaskan temperate rainforest. Surrounded by towering Sitka spruce and Western hemlock, we also delighted in the details of the forest floor. Flowering dwarf dogwood, giant western skunk cabbage, and a beautiful turquoise and pink lichen called fairy barf were just a few of many species we encountered during our foray in the forest.
Dinner was welcome after a day spent in the Alaskan outdoors. After the feast, our guests enjoyed a talk on the unique geology of Southeast Alaska from naturalist Al Trujillo, a very fitting precursor to our day at Dawes Glacier tomorrow!