As National Geographic Sea Lion entered Holkham Bay and started up the 30-mile fjord of Tracy Arm, there was a tingle of excitement in the air. As the first day of our expedition was underway, everyone was buzzing about the possibilities the day may bring. We passed dozens of beautiful waterfalls, grandiose spruce trees, and sapphire blue ice bergs. Some bergs were even as long as the ship! Captain Carter navigated the ice with poise and expertise, bringing the ship further and further up Tracy Arm. We finally reached Sawyer Island and began kayaking operations. Once loaded onto kayaks, everyone high tailed it towards some bergy bits to get a closer look at the magnificent blue floating ice. A few brave adventurers even decided to paddleboard in the fjord.

Back aboard the ship we also got a special treat from some visiting Forest Service Wilderness Park Rangers. They discussed topics like the requirements a wilderness area must meet, and the mechanics of glaciers. After the rangers’ presentation, it was time to make a Zodiac run to the face of South Sawyer Glacier. As we raced up the channel, the air became chilly from the icy catabatic winds to our east. The glacier face came into view and everyone was in awe. The magnitude of the blue and white wall was unmatched in power and beauty. We turned the engine off to listen to all the sounds swirling about – the snap, crackle, and pop of ice melting, bergs bumping into one another and rolling, and the thunderous sound of seracs calving off the glacier face and hitting the water below. These sounds made up the symphony of the wilderness. It truly was a stunning day in Tracy Arm.