The first full day of our Alaskan wilderness expedition was nothing short of an adventure. As we sailed through the scenic waters of Tracy Arm in the early morning hours, we made our way ever closer toward our first destination: South Sawyer Glacier.

The day began with a wakeup call from expedition leader Dave, which quickly flowed into a scrumptious breakfast in our ship’s restaurant. Afterward, the group loaded up into our trusty Zodiacs for a chance to cruise around the icy waters at the head of Tracy Arm. While there, we saw an abundance of harbor seals floating on the ice and even a small group of mountain goats scrambling around the hills. We were even treated to a number of incredible glacial calving events as we learned all about the geologic forces that created the landscape around us.

After lunch, many of us took the opportunity to go kayaking in the amazingly calm waters of Tracy Arm. We paddled our hearts out while gazing up at huge waterfalls that tumbled down incredibly steep rock faces into the ocean below. Back on the ship, certified photo instructor Alex offered an informational lecture about smartphone photography for those of us who weren’t out paddling.

Once we were all back on National Geographic Sea Lion, we settled in for the first of many cocktail hours and recaps that we will have on this voyage. This was followed by a delectable dinner in the restaurant and, to cap off the day, a lecture on glaciology from Gaby. With that, we all made our way back to our cabins for the night to rest up for the adventures ahead. Onward we go!