Glacier Bay National Park

May 22, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird

Let’s start this one with a Haiku:
Mist coats the landscape
New friends share experience
Glacier Bay beauty


From one wilderness to another, we traveled through the Alaskan Inside Passage. After picking up our natural and cultural history interpreters, National Geographic Sea Bird transited north past South Marble Island, Gloomy Knob, and Rustle, and headed toward Marjorie and Grand Pacific glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve.

Along the way, we observed various species in their natural habitat, behaving as they would whether we were present or not. Among them were Stellar sea lions, sea otters (some with pups!), mountain goats, and coastal brown bears. The birders were treated to close-up views of tufted puffins, common murres, pelagic cormorants, pigeon guillemots, and black-legged kittiwakes. For the geologically inclined, we had beautiful views of banded marble on Gloomy Knob.

After a very lovely brunch, we passed Rustle and then spent some time listening, watching, and just simply absorbing the incredible wonders of this park. The park interpreters helped us gain a much better understanding of the landscape and its history through several presentations. At one point, guests were so engaged and asked so many questions that park ranger said she was tired of hearing her voice on the microphone and invited folks to layer up, go outside, and talk with her throughout the day of exploration. What great enthusiasm from everyone! And this was the energy that stayed with us for the entire day.

We were able to get up close and personal to Marjorie, Lamplugh, and Reid glaciers. We heard stories from Racheal, our cultural interpreter, and then we went for a walk to stretch our legs in the rainforest in Bartlett Cove. The mist lifted and we could see some of the mountain peaks in the park. A great day shared with friends old and new.

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About the Author

David Jaffe

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For more than 25 years David Jaffe has guided and taught a variety of audiences about our natural world and our connection with it. His childhood interest in natural systems eventually brought him to Evergreen State College where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geology, followed by a M.S in Applied Ecology from the University of Vermont. Mingling an academic background with experience working around the world in exceptionally diverse environments, he is able to efficiently observe, understand, and interpret natural and cultural history.

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