2021 Alaska Flotilla – Day 3 Leg 3 | NW Explorations


2021 Alaska Flotilla – Day 3 Leg 3

Tracy Arm Cove & Sawyer Glacier

We woke to a drizzly morning in Tracy Arm Cove. As we began our way up the fjord, the deep blue icebergs appeared mystically out of the fog. The shorelines were lined with dripping spruce and hemlock trees draped in hanging lichens. The water was glass calm and waterfalls cascaded into the sea wherever we looked. There was an eerie, otherworldly beauty to the scenery.

As we continued further into the fjord, the low clouds began to lift, exposing the mountainous walls of granite on either side of us. The sun continued to slowly burn off the haze, leaving some low-lying clouds in the valleys. We watched in awe as the tops of the steep surrounding mountains were revealed. We continued to maneuver around the large bergs in the water and take in the spectacular glacially carved scenery.

Our first stop today was the Sawyer glacier. The lack of ice in the water allowed us to approach up to a ¼ mile from the face of the glacier. The massive wall of ice in front of us was certainly an impressive site. After watching for a while we continued on to the south Sawyer glacier. South Sawyer is retreating at a much faster rate and the bay was full of recently calved ice. The harbor seals use these ice bergs as a safe place to give birth to their pups. We watched many momma seals with their pups close by, some nursing and others swimming with pups riding on their backs.

We maneuvered our way closer to the ice wall, carefully navigating around the bergs. We cut our engines and watched the ice for calving events. It is amazing to hear the ice move. The loud cracks and rumbles resounded around the bay causing us all to look up intently to see the ice fall. We watched many small pieces of ice and rock tumble off the sides of the glacier as well as some massive ice chunks that created a huge splash!

Back at the anchorage, the Thea crew joined us for a shore excursion along the beach. We walked up the creek emptying into the bay admiring the Indian paintbrush and buttercups along the streambank. The swim club gained another member tonight as Bing off of Exact joined the polar plunge! So far, we’re all still in the competition, but we’ve also all decided that Tracy Arm is the coldest place we’ve ever swam.

P.S. Is Alaska on your bucket list? We can take you there! Reserve your spot on our 2022 Mother Goose AK Flotilla today. 

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