Monday, July 11, 2016

Alaska 2016 | Day 56 | Tracy Arm Cove to Dawes Glacier to Ford’s Terror

Whale, glacier, bear, all in one day. Sunshine, too.

The whale was the first sighting of the day. I’ve seen lots of whales near the entrance to Endicott Arm, but never any halfway up. That changed today. Near Ford’s Terror we spotted a lone humpback, surfacing briefly and diving deep. We watched it surface and dive a few times from a distance, then continued on. A few moments after throttling up to cruising speed, the whale surfaced much closer—perhaps 100 feet from the boat. I pulled back on the throttle and shut off the engine. For the next 10 minutes or so, the whale swam around us, surfacing and diving, about 100 feet away.
Woah! Close!
A little further away...
Mom and Peter watching the whale
The rest of the run to Dawes Glacier was easy, although there was more ice than on previous trips this summer. We got to within a quarter mile of the face of the glacier and launched the kayaks. Peter and mom paddled around for a bit while I maneuvered the boat around the ice. Close to the glacier the wind was really blowing—20-30 knots—so I had my hands full keeping the boat near the kayakers and away from the ice. 

Peter and Mom collecting ice for cocktails
Mom and Peter kayaking
Lots of seals resting on the ice
Drone selfie
After a few hours at the glacier we headed towards Ford’s Terror. Along the way I caught a glimpse of a bear on shore, so we stopped for a while to watch. This bear was small and skittish, but we watched as it meandered along the intertidal for a few minutes.
Black bear in Endicott Arm
Entering Ford’s Terror was easy. At about the same time as high water in Juneau we went in with the current pushing us along at about 4 knots.

Laura and Kevin on Airship, with a couple friends aboard, were already anchored. We all had happy hour and then a potluck dinner on Safe Harbour. To cap off the great day, as we sat on top of the boat, a black bear wandered out of the trees onto the beach. One whale, one glacier, and two bears…a good day indeed!

54.86 nm today

1571.72 nm total

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