We awoke to find ourselves traversing Tracy Arm, nestled at the heart of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. A distinct chill hung low in the crisp air, which coupled with increasing iceberg sightings, signaled our approach to Sawyer Glacier. As the crew hove to and dropped the Zodiacs, we bundled ourselves up in as many layers as possible while savoring the glimmers of sunshine peeking through the wispy clouds overhead. We were shocked at how close to the glacier our nimble National Geographic Sea Bird was able to maneuver, leaving only a short stretch of largely ice-filled waters between us and its brilliant blue face.

Dozens of arctic terns greeted us, swooping and diving for small fish. Under the watchful eyes of four mountain goats perched precariously on slender granite ledges high above us, we surveyed harbor seals foraging for food and nursing their young pups. Sawyer itself put on quite the show! Multiple significant calving events occurred and were briefly preceded by deafening cracks that echoed throughout the fjord.

Upon our return to the ship, naturalist Jeff shared his extensive geology knowledge. He was interrupted, of course, by bear sightings along the shoreline which we rushed onto the bow to appreciate.