Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier

Jul 08, 2019 - National Geographic Venture


We awoke at the terminal moraine bar in Holkham Bay at the entrance to Endicott Arm. A light haze hung in the air, creating varying blue layers of hills and mountains around the bay. Humpback whales surfaced and blew in several directions. Clouds above created soft light that brought out the blue in the “bergy bits” (smaller pieces of icebergs) that floated by. We entered a section of the bay where hundreds of surf scoters floated alongside Canada geese, and marbled murrlets bobbed in the calm reflective waters. Bald eagles sat atop ice floes, riding them out in the current and flying off to fish now and then. The bay was a hub of activity this morning! After breakfast, we continued our journey up Endicott Arm towards Dawes Glacier, inside Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness within the Tongass National Forest. Bits of incredible blue ice floated past us languidly in reflective waters. We stopped within view of the glacier and launched Zodiacs to explore the ice, waterfalls, and amazing geology of this fjord. All of us learned about the geology and natural history of the fjord, and several guests witnessed calving ice off the face of the glacier while others explored beautiful pieces of textured ice.

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About the Author

Brenda Tharp

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For over 20 years, Brenda has used her photographs of the world to celebrate its beauty, and inspire others to protect what we have. Brenda grew up exploring the woods, lakes, and coastlines of New Jersey and New England and her family traveled regularly throughout the eastern U.S., camping, hiking, backpacking, and canoeing. She spent most of her childhood engaging with nature in some form or another and learning about animal behavior. When her father taught her some photography at 13, Brenda soon combined her love for nature with her newfound passion, and several years later her adventure began as a freelance photographer, teacher, and writer.

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