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A Very Zen Line of Work – Podcast

Northwest Navigation Podcast - Pack Creek BearsThis week’s episode of the Northwest Navigation podcast is all things bears. We have a lot of respect for bears. They are big scary creatures that have the potential to be dangerous, yet bears also inspire us through their natural abilities, and their beauty. As students of the wild, when we observe bears we not only learn about them, we learn about ourselves.

Dan Kirkwood from Pack Creek Bear Tours, sat down with us to share his insights into bear behavior, and what to expect when visiting places like Pack Creek.

Listen:  A Very Zen Line of Work

Pack Creek Bear Guide in AlaskaBe sure to check out the trips we offer with Dan and Pack Creek Bear Tours.

Trip Number 334: Alaska’s Fjords with Pack Creek Bear Viewing
Dates: May 11-18, 2019
Boards: Petersburg
Disembarks: Juneau (Auke Bay)
Itinerary… 

Bear sitting at Pack Creek in AlaskaTrip Number 336: Adventures NW Photography Workshop –  Alaska’s Fjords and Pack Creek Bear Viewing
Dates: May 31 – June 7, 2019
Boards: Auke Bay (Juneau)
Disembarks: Petersburg
Itinerary…

 

Alaska Aboard the David B

If you need a short four-minute vacay, the video below contains highlights from one of our 8-day Alaska cruises where we had, beautiful weather, great hikes, saw amazing wildlife, and we got to visit Dawes glacier on a day where we were treated to some breathtaking calving.

We’re taking reservations for 2019. Take 20% off on selected trips in Alaska through Feb 15, 2019. Join us – Special Deals on Cruises.

Small Waterfall

Some waterfalls are big, roaring and attention-grabbing. Other waterfalls are shy. These we seek out in our skiff to listen to their hushed babble and to feel a sense of wonder as we watch them cascade for a thousand feet or more.

Visit these links learn more about our cruises in Alaska or the Inside Passage.

excrusion to fords terror in Alaska on a small ship vruise
Small waterfall in Fords Terror

David B at Anchor in Port Neville

When we anchor at Port Neville, We usually keep our eyes on the beach watching for brown and black bears. This year when we went for a skiff ride, I looked the other way and was treated to a spectacular view of mountains on Vancouver Island. The David B seemed so cozy in this anchorage with a curl of smoke coming out of the wood stove’s chimney. I don’t remember exactly what I was cooking for dinner that night, but I know bread was rising on the counter and would soon be baking and making the galley smell irresistible.

Follow this link for more information on our 12-day Inside Passage cruises…

– Christine

A small cruise ship at anchor in the Inside Passage
David B at anchor in Port Neville with the wood cookstove .

Mother Natures’s Art

I’ve been looking at these scales, or chatter marks as they are called, near Dawes Glacier for years. I love showing them to our guests. They always feel impactful to me. Maybe it’s because they weren’t yet exposed when John Muir visited Dawes in 1880, or perhaps it’s just Mother Nature’s raw talent as an artist. Whatever it is, this part of Endicott Arm is one that I always enjoy gazing at.

-Christine

Geology in Endicott Arm, Alaska. Aboard the small cruise ship David B
Chatter marks in the walls of Endicott Arm.

RE: Your Dad is coming home, I’ve met someone and I’m staying on in Alaska

Laurie can’t ever get her kids to read her emails. It doesn’t matter if the message is important or mundane, they just won’t open them, so she’s had to resort to click bait. The crazier she can make the subject line, the more likely they are to open it.

She and her husband were just on a trip with us in Alaska. We had an amazing time, got to see brown bears very close up. One even wandered by us about 30 feet away, then stopped to munch on grass for almost ten minutes. Then we spent three days in the fjords watching glaciers, and going for hikes, kayaks and skiff rides in magical places.

Laurie wanted to do more – see more places, go for more hikes, see more glaciers. Luckily for her we had space on our next trip, which (also luckily for her) was to Glacier Bay National Park.

 

Rose was also on the trip. She had come to Alaska hoping to do our trip, then find someone who could guide her on a kayak trip in Glacier Bay, but it was too early in the season for most of the tour and guiding operators. She had decided to go home after the trip with us.

Then they started asking about the next trip. “What do we do in Glacier Bay? What wildlife would we see? Was there space available on the trip?”

Laurie and Rose had become great friends in the eight days of the trip. From day one they had been sharing stories and becoming fast friends. This is the stuff our trips are made of. They quickly had become BFFs. We did have space. They wanted to go.

When we arrived in Juneau we worked out all the details. Laurie’s husband had commitments at home, and their schedules wouldn’t let them go for the whole trip, so I arranged for a float plane to meet us and pick them up 4 days into the trip. It was all set up.

All they had to do was let their families know…

RE: Your Dad is coming home, I’ve met someone and I’m staying on in Alaska

 

Get to know John and Al our photography workshop instructors

On Saturday we sat down around the settee on the David B for a chat about what it’s like to go on one of our photography workshops. It was a fun, light-hearted chat about the highlight’s from last year’s Glacier Bay workshop, John and Al’s background in photography, and what we’re excited about for this coming season’s workshops.

You don’t have to be an expert photographer to come on these trips. All you need is a love of nature, the desire to take great pictures and to have fun. You can watch the video in its entirety below.

Visit our Alaska Photography Workshops page for more information, dates, rates, and availability.

Dreaming In Glacier Bay – Adventures NW Magazine

Article in Adventreus NW Magazine about our Glacier Bay Photography WorkshopLast year we did our first Photography Workshop in conjunction with Adventures NW Magazine. Here’s a link to their website with an article describing what it was like to spend 8-days learning about photography and post-processing photographs in Glacier Bay on the David B.

http://www.adventuresnw.com/dreaming-in-glacier-bay/

After reading this article, we know you’ll want to go on one of our Photo Workshop cruises, so be sure to check out our 2018 schedule and itineraries for photography workshops.

Alaska’s Fjords and Pack Creek Bear Viewing Photography Workshop

https://northwestnavigation.com/alaska-adventure-photography-cruise/

Glacier Bay Photography Workshop

https://northwestnavigation.com/glacier-bay-photography-cruise/

 

 

Epic Glacier Day

I keep a little journal and I thought you might like to see what I wrote about. I titled it Epic Glacier Day

May 26 – 0544  Epic Glacier Day:

Journalwoke up in front of Reid Glacier.

Actually, Epic Glacier Day (EGD) really started the day before when we dropped anchor and spent several hours ashore at Reid glacier’s snout taking pictures as part of our photography workshop cruise. EGD started by waking up anchored face to face with a massive glacier. As I prepared coffee and breakfast, I occasionally walked outside to stare at the glacier and to listen to the sounds of the glacier’s rushing meltwater streams and waterfalls. The water sounds would occasionally be interrupted by the calls of some of my favorite birds – black oystercatchers. Although small bits of ice floated in the inlet, this glacier no longer calves big icebergs into the water. It has retreated to rest on a mudflat, and high tides now only kiss Reid’s wide icy snout.

 

went to Johns Hopkins then Margerie

Small Cruise Ship David B at Reid Glacier, Glacier Bay Alaska
David B at anchor in front of Reid Glacier.

We made a stop at Lamplough Glacier, which sits like a watchdog to the entrance of Johns Hopkins Inlet. The sky had cleared to a bright blue. We paid our respects to Lamplough and entered Johns Hopkins Inlet for a view of Johns Hopkins Glacier as it spilled into the inlet from the impossibly high and jagged Fairweather Mountains. After witnessing an enormous avalanche spill onto the glacier, we turned to continue EGD with our fourth and fifth glaciers – Margerie and the Grand Pacific.

spent a couple hours at Margerie in the skiff

Johns Hopkins Inlet and Glacier, Glacier Bay Alaska
Johns Hopkins Glacier and Mountains of the Fairweather Range

We anchored in Tarr Inlet about a mile away from Margerie. It had recently been active. Small bergs and brash ice floated past our anchorage. Hundreds of black-legged kittiwakes were nesting about a half-mile away. Margerie glacier is beautifully showy with the whitest ice and actively calving. The Grand Pacific seems shy and more sedentary. It’s covered in a blanket of dirt and rock, and seldom calves. It seems content to let Margerie have all the attention.

We lowered the skiff for the best part of EGD — a ride to the face of an active tidewater glacier.

 

a humpback surfaced next to the David B at anchor

Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay Alaska
Margerie Glacier

Not long after we got the skiff in the water a humpback whale entered Tarr Inlet. I surfaced twice nearby the David B, and one of the surfacings was really close to the skiff.

-6-10 sea otters on icebergs

We kept our cameras and our focus on Margerie. We waited to capture the moment that a tower of ice would fall into the water. We made bets on where ice would fall from, and we held hopes that a big one would let loose.

While watching the glacier, a group of sea otters swam along the floating ice, and an eagle landed on the great face of the glacier. No visible part of Margerie was left unphotographed. Every peak, every icy spire, every kittiwake, and every iceberg was part of this magical landscape. I felt the need to absorb it all. To capture every sight, every sound, every emotion. To hold on to this moment for as long as possible. I wanted

Small cruise ship in Glacier Bay's Tarr Inlet
David B anchored in Tarr Inlet with Margerie Glacier and the Grand Pacific Glacier.

to wrap it all up, take it home, and share it with anyone who needed a good dose of Mother Nature.

 

 

I didn’t write anymore but we remained anchored in Tarr Inlet that night. I remember that from time-to-time we could hear the boom of ice calving off Margerie, the sounds of the kittiwake colony, and the silence of nature. Magnificent mountains surrounded us. The sun dipped behind the peaks, and again another boom and more ice would be spilled.

It was the perfect Epic Glacier Day.                                                                                      

-Christine

Article by our passenger Stacy Shearman on the Inside Passage

We would like to say THANK YOU to Stacy Shearman who wrote a wonderful review of her cruise with us this past summer. Her trip was our Southbound Inside Passage Cruise that began in Ketchikan, Alaska and ended in Bellingham, Washington.

I hope you enjoy!

-Christine

Customer Review of a cruise aboard the David B