Glacier Bay Permits — We Got Um!
Glacier Bay concessionaire contract awarded to the David B
by Jeffrey Smith
If you were on the boat, or even within earshot of us this summer, you probably heard us talking about trying to get a permit to operate in Glacier Bay National Park. It was a difficult thing for us, mostly because of the timing. The Park released the prospectus in the middle of our spring outfitting season, and we scrambled to have our proposal complete. Luckily we have Sarah, who did a lot of the writing, editing, checking and re-checking to make sure we had it all in perfect shape to submit.
Then we waited – for 5 months.
We weren’t sure if we could even schedule any trips in Glacier Bay because we didn’t know what the status of the permit was. Then earlier this month, we found out. We got it. So we’re going, and you should come with us.
Glacier Bay is amazing. The wildlife is everywhere, there are species that you’d have a hard time seeing in other Alaska spots. Things like puffins and mountain goats. On our past trips there, we’ve also seen loads of humpback whales, orca whales, brown bears, black bears, and moose.
Then there’s the ice. We anchor in front of glaciers and walk up to their faces. We slowly skiff through fjords choked with floating ice and sneak up to glaciers that are calving. The photography experience is phenomenal. You won’t find this anywhere else.
Come join us. (We’ve got the permits) **
Glacier Bay Trips: Adventures NW Glacier Bay Photography Workshops
Trip #335 May 21-28, 2019
Trip #341 July 20-27, 2019
** Fine Print: Technically in National Park Language, we have been awarded a concession contract to provide charter boat services in Glacier Bay National Park from 2019 to 2029. People might not understand that, so to simplify it we refer to it as a permit.
Just Remember to Look Up
I was walking along a mud flat at low tide with a group of guests when I spotted several greater yellowlegs standing on a small rise that was surrounded by a tidepool. I stopped to point them out and talk a bit about their pretty call and how they feed on small fish and insects. As we watched the yellowlegs wade and forage in the shallow water, a bald eagle flew overhead attracting the attention of this bird. Just a small reminder from our friend the Greater Yellowlegs to remember to occasionally look up.
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.
Wait for it…
One of the most thrilling things we get to do on our cruises is to wait and watch for glaciers to calve. Just when you think it’s time to go and you’ll be disappointed that you didn’t see anything big, the glacier answers with a thunderous crack and an enormous splash.
A special old bear
We watched this old bear at Pack Creek on Alaska’s Admiralty Island in the spring. She’s thirtysomething and walks with a deep limp from a broken leg now healed. Her nose was once broken and sits askew. Even as she digs clams with mud clinging to her aged fur, I can’t help but think she’s the most beautiful animal I’ve ever seen.
Video Highlights from our 2018 Northbound Learn to Cruise to Alaska Trip
We love the Inside Passage. It has beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife. From our homeport in Bellingham, Washington, the Inside Passage is a maze of narrow channels, steep fjords, and a wonderland of waterfalls. Every year we offer this trip to people looking for a chance to learn the ins-and-outs of the Inside Passage, from the best anchorages to timing open water crossings, and tidal rapids. If you think this sounds like something you’d be interested in check out our Learn to Cruise webpage.
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.
We’re talking about bears on Facebook Live
We tried something new — Facebook Live!
Jeffrey and I thought it would be fun to see what it was like to do a Facebook Live Chat so we could talk about what we do on the David B, where we go, and to answer questions about what our trips are like. It turned out to be a blast. We were joined by lots of familiar people as well as new people. Not only did we get to talk about one of my favorite bear experiences from as summer, but we also got to answer questions about our trips and drinks with glacier ice.
Below is a link to our YouTube account that has the conversation. I hope you enjoy it and stay tuned for more Facebook Live Chats. And if you haven’t had a chance to follow the David B on Facebook, here’s a link.
Dreaming In Glacier Bay – Adventures NW Magazine
Last 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.
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
Glacier Bay Photography Workshop