Black bear in Fords Terror
While we were at anchor in Fords Terror we got to watch this female black bear who had a couple of cubs. They ate grass and barnacles and crawled over rocks. While we were anchored in this spot we also got to watch two other bears on the opposite shore.
Watching a tidewater glacier
There is nothing better than a cool sunny day with a fjord filled with ice and a tidewater glacier. Join us in Alaska for 8-day as we explore the fjords, islands, and forests that make up the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska.
Photo Workshop in Alaska
Spending time ashore in remote areas is one of the best things about our trips. On our Landscape Photography workshop with Matt Meisenheimer last year, we wandered along the side of a large waterfall at North Dawes, which is a beautiful anchorage just off Endicott Arm in Alaska’s Tracy Arm /Fords Terror Wilderness. There were numerous side streams and wildflowers like this river beauty. Even though it was pouring rain, Matt helped us set up shots and create photographs. He answered questions and guided us among boulders. It was a pretty awesome day. Our photo workshops are really fun and creative. It’s also nice knowing that on cold wet days, the David B has a wood-fired cookstove with warm galley and hot soup waiting for our return.
Hummingbirds in Alaska
We started keeping a hummingbird feeder on the David B a few summers ago. We often had hungry birds coming to the boat and checking out all the red things on deck. One time a tired one arrived that was too weak to fly up to the feeder. We set the feeder on a chair next to the bird. It regained its strength and a few minutes later it buzzed off. We love these small visitors and appreciate the way they help us connect with nature and care for the world around us.
For more information visit any of our Alaska itinerary pages like this one for our Juneau to Petersburg 8-day tour.
WEATHERING A STORM
As another week passes, and the outside news gets crazier and crazier, with travel bans at the forefront, and big cruise lines canceling, we continue to evaluate how our summer is shaping up.
As a captain, I feel like this is very similar to how I plan for weather and storms. There’s a lot at stake. Every day I make multiple decisions about the voyage, the vessel, the weather, the guests, the crew. It’s what I’ve been doing for 29 years as a captain. I’m continually checking and updating my decisions, and trying to use as much new information as I can. One of the biggest hurdles is to avoid weighing one’s prior decisions over new facts. Just because it was forecast to be calm when I left the dock doesn’t mean that continuing into big seas makes sense. Checking and rechecking myself doesn’t make me wishy-washy; it’s how to make safe decisions.
I make a lot of decisions by playing out the consequences in my head and thinking about how I would explain it afterward if it didn’t go well. It’s part of my training and experience. If I can finish the sentence that begins with “Well, your honor, the reason I was doing that was because…” in a way that seems plausible, it’s probably not such a bad idea. I use a risk/reward model as well. In this case, the reward (the grandeur of Alaska) is high and the risk is still low.
At this point, like before, we’re still operating as if our summer is going to go as planned. Right now, I still feel like it’s safe. Each new piece of news or information makes me re-evaluate the decision and each time I come back to the same decision: We’re still going unless it becomes unsafe or impossible for our guests, our boat or us.
In a lot of ways, I feel like this decision is like all the nautical decisions I’ve made in my career. It takes a lot of thought, a lot of hand wringing and a lot of worry. There are big stakes. I feel like I’ve been training my whole life to make this decision.
We’re still going. Things may change. I’ll reevaluate then.
Killer whale up close
Looking forward to getting back out on the water and having encounters like this one. We had stopped to watch some killer whales that were socializing with each other. The young ones had caught a common murre and appeared to be playing with it. While we were watching the youngsters, this male came and surfaced right next to us. Wow!
To learn more about killer whales join us in June for our Whales and Marine Ecology of Southeast Alaska trip.
Mother with Newborn
Holkham Bay Skiff Ride
In the early evening before dinner, we took our guests on a skiff ride in Holkham Bay to look at the icebergs that had grounded at Wood Spit. Getting to listen to the water gently lapping up against the berg and the meltwater dripping into Holkham Bay just added to its beauty.
This photo was taken on a Petersburg to Juneau 8-Day cruise in August 2019. To learn more about this itinerary visit this link.
Explore Lamplough Glacier
Lowtide at Lamplough Glacier in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park is a fun place to explore icy wonders that come in so many shapes and sizes. Join us on one of our Glacier Bay Photography Workshops and explore the unique shapes, textures, and light that comes with glacier ice.
The Blues of Reid Glacier
Growing up, my favorite color was always blue. Maybe that’s why I enjoy bringing people to glaciers so much.
This is from Glacier Bay Nationa Park’s Reid Glacier. There was just a little space at the edge of the Glacier where if you looked just right you could see under the glacier. It wasn’t big enough to be a cave, but its icy blues were tantalizing. To learn more about our photography workshops in Glacier National Park…