Ice calved from a glacier is the essence of ephemeral. As you move around an iceberg, it changes in color, it glows, its shape reveals other shapes. You see birds taking off, or flames frozen, then without warning, it capsizes and you realize that moment has gone and something new is in its place.
Taken in 2019 on one of our Glacier Bay Photography Workshops in Alaska.
Lupines at Lamplough Glacier
When I graduated from college, one of my mentors gave me a children’s book called Miss Rumphius. In the book, the main character sought to make the world a more beautiful place by planting lupines. Every day I’m reminded of that story and each day I hope to make the world a more beautiful place with kind words, a smile, a photograph of a pretty place, or a shared experience.
This pretty place is in Glacier Bay National Park where there’s a short hike next to Lamplough Glacier. We like to visit this trail as often as possible and especially on our photography workshops where we can spend hours exploring the beauty of nature.
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.
Glacier Bay Oystercatcher
I had just stepped out of the skiff at Lamplough glacier in Glacier Bay National Park when this oystercatcher gave me a look that more or less seemed to suggest that the mussels hidden under the kelp were for oystercatcher only.
This photo is from our May 2019 Glacier Bay Photography Workshop. There’s still space for the upcoming 2020 season. Visit our Glacier Bay Photography Workshop page for more information and discount pricing.
You can do it
We were cruising alongside Gloomy Knob in Glacier Bay on our AdventuresNW Magazine Photography Workshop when spotted this mother mountain goat waiting patiently for her youngster to catch up to her. It was a nice opportunity to observe these amazing sure-footed creatures and also to try to photograph them as they were high up on the mountain-side and we were at sea level.
We have several photography workshops aboard the David B in 2019. We’ve really come to love these trips as photography brings you a depth of experience with the beauty of Glacier Bay, as well as providing you the time to slow down and observe nature while learning how to get the most out of your camera. If you think you would like to know more about our Photography Workshops and instructors, click on over to our photography page for dates and locations.
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.
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
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
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:
woke 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
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
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
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
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.