Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 22-Tracy Arm Cove to Tracy Arm Cove

Tracy Arm is apparently one of the great fjords of SE Alaska.  Huge walls of rock surround incredibly deep water, snow-covered peaks tower above the rock walls, and countless waterfalls tumble into the water.

We left Tracy Arm Cove around 8:00 in order to take advantage of the reduced current during the flood.  Water always flows out of Tracy Arm, slowing down boats entering the area, but the water flows more slowly during a flood tide.

The trip in was everything that we’d hoped.  Just spectacular.  Sunny, not too much wind, warm temperatures…it couldn’t have been better.  A few tour boats passed us, but there was only one other cruising boat and no cruise ships.
Entering Tracy Arm
Great view out the windows
Every turn is impressive
Photos can't capture the scale of the walls
Lots of waterfalls 
And more waterfalls
Snow and icebergs
We opted to go to North Sawyer Glacier first, and passed one other boat going in (they were leaving).  We pulled up about 1/3 of a mile from the face of the glacier, shut off the engine, and took turns kayaking around.  The wind and current carried us away from the glacier, but we enjoyed messing around for 45 minutes or so, watching the calving glacier.
First view of North Sawyer Glacier
The glacier has receded dramatically in recent years, apparently.  According to the GPS’s on board, we were actually half a mile inland when in reality we were 1/3 of a mile from the face of the glacier.  I’m glad I’m seeing this now; who knows if the glaciers will even exist in another decade.
We're in uncharted land!
After we finished up at North Sawyer Glacier we moved the 5 nm or so over to South Sawyer Glacier.  As we pulled in the last two other boats pulled out, leaving us alone once again.  South Sawyer Glacier is much larger than North Sawyer, and there was a whole lot more ice to navigate through.  Still, we could get fairly close.

The Australians, leaving as we were arriving

We again put the kayak in the water and took turns paddling around.  Seals abounded, lounging on the icebergs.  They were pretty skittish, though, and quickly moved into the water when we got too close.  After about an hour of paddling around awestruck, we headed out to take advantage of the ebb back to Tracy Arm Cove.
Mom and pup
Lots of seals, lots more ice
A whole family of seals
Ben kayaking through the ice
More seals...
The boat in front of South Sawyer Glacier
Paddling through the ice
The afternoon outflow winds had picked up, but they weren’t too bad and the curving nature of Tracy Arm keeps fetch fairly minimal.  The trip out was uneventful, and of course, beautiful.  We got back to the anchorage around 8 PM, had dinner, and got to bed early.

Tomorrow we’ll head up Endicott Arm to Ford’s Terror, but we’ll anchor outside the rapids for the night to avoid the rockslides.

52.5 nm today and 1,051.6 total

No comments :

Post a Comment