For the fourth day in a row, we awoke to blue skies and a beaming sun. It’s not often that you need sunscreen in the temperate rainforest of Southeast Alaska, but the mirror-like conditions inside the protected Tracy Arm Fjord made for perfect paddle conditions, so SPF was recommended.

The crew of National Geographic Sea Lion smoothly lowered the kayaks and paddleboards and we paddled amongst the icebergs. The solitude we felt was a reminder of what it means to truly be in a wilderness area.

After a hardy and tasty chowder prepared by expert Chef Eddie, we ventured out again into the ice field – this time to experience the calving face of South Sawyer Glacier. On the way, we came across families of mountain goats, harbor seals, and bald eagles. Once we got near the face of South Sawyer Glacier, we were mesmerized by the shapes and colors of the glacial ice.

Passengers lingered on the bow after dinner, taking in the final moments of sunlight on their voyage through Southeast Alaska, forever changed by its beauty.