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Lupines at Lamplough Glacier

Alaska Hikes in Glacier Bay

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.

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.

The Blues of Reid Glacier

Glacier Blues in Glacier Bay Alaska

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…

Prettiest Iceberg

This was one of the prettiest icebergs we saw last season. It came off the underside of Sawyer glacier in the Tracy Arm / Fords Terror Wilderness area which is part of the Tongass National Forest. It was fascinating to skiff around it and watch how the light played in the ice. We slowly circled around it a couple of times since its colors and textures were spellbinding.

This photo was from our Southeast Alaska Fjords Photography Workshop in July 2019. For more information about this workshop…

Baird Glacier Lake

Lake at Baird Glacier in AlaskaWhen the tide is right we can skiff up Baird Glacier’s river for a short walk to a small lake filled with Baird’s icebergs.

The glacier has changed a lot from when I went there for the first time in 2009. At that time we could walk up to and on to the Glacier. Then a few years ago there was an event that caused the lake to form.

This photo was from one of our Petersburg to Juneau cruises in June of 2019. June is often a good time to visit southeast Alaska as it can be one of the drier months and it’s a good time of year to see Arctic Terms which migrate to Alaska from South America. For more information on our 8-day Petersburg to Juneau cruises…

Ice Spires of Lamplough Glacier

There’s a short walk next to Lamplough Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park where, if you take the time you’ll get to appreciate the slow march of glacial history written into the accumulated layers of ancient snowfalls.

This photo was from July 2019 on our Glacier Bay with AdventuresNW Magazine’s Photography Workshop. To learn more about this cruise in 2020, click here…

Hidden Glacier

Hidden glacier in endicott arm on a small ship cruise in AlaskaOnce upon a time, this Glacier was a tributary to Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm. Now it’s a peek-a-boo reminder of a cooler time when glaciers filled Endicott Arm. One thing I like to think about as we pass this particular glacier is how you can see in the vegetation that the glacier had been in its valley as recently as 50 years ago. That’s because the low shrubby willow and alder are considered pioneer plants that are slowly helping to make soils. As time passes trees like cottonwood will begin to grow and eventually those trees will be replaced with a spruce and hemlock forest.

This photo was taken our Southeast Alaska Fjords Photography Workshop. To learn more about this trip click here.

 

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.

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.

Dawes Glacier calving in Alaska aboard a small cruise ship
A slab of ice several stories tall begins to fall from the face of Dawes Glacier.

 

Dawes glacier calving in Endicott Arm. Watched from a small cruise ship in Alaska
Once the slab starts to break free of the glacier, it seems to fall in slow-motion.

A big splash from a calving glacier in Alaska's Tracy Arm Fords Terror wilderness.
Once the ice crashes into Endicott Arm, it’s impossible to hold back a cheer to Mother Nature and the power of the glacier.

 

 

 

Trip #297 Petersburg to Juneau Recap – June 10-17, 2017

Where is the David B?

Sarah here,
Often when I take a phone call or answer an email, I get the question, “Where is the David B today?”

Usually I have to guess based on our sample itineraries, but now I don’t have to!

Jeffrey recently installed a Garmin GPS unit, which updates the David B’s location and often shows the many places along the way during a trip. You can see the David B’s current location here: https://share.garmin.com/TheDavidB

I really like this screen shot of trip #297 (see the trip recap below) which shows the David B heading Northwest out of Petersburg, going around Admiralty island to visit the Baranof Warm Springs, with side trips to see Ford’s Terror and the Sawyer glacier before arriving in Juneau.

Connect the dots for Trip #297 with the David B’s new Garmin GPS

Trip #297 – Petersburg to Juneau Trip Recap June 10-17, 2017

Here is another Trip Recap of Alaska. This time it’s our Northbound cruise out of Petersburg arriving 8 days later in Juneau.

Day 1)  10 June – Thomas Bay – We left Petersburg and stopped to see the local sea lions hauled out on a buoy. The sea lions were very expressive as they tried to jockey for space on the buoy.  Anchored in Thomas Bay. Skiffed around Ruth Island and tucked into a narrow cut to look at an overfall coming out of an unnamed lagoon. We saw a Bald Eagle and a small weasel, one person thought it was a fisher another thought it was a mink. It was too far away to tell.

“Why is she always yelling at me?”
Day 2) 11 June – We anchored in Cannery Cove on Admiralty Island. Spotted a Brown Bear on the beach, set crab traps. Watched humpback whales as we transited from Thomas Bay to Cannery Cove. We also stopped at the brothers to look at a Stellars’ sea lion haulout

Day 3) 12 June – Watched more humpback whales on our way to Baranof Island’s Warm Springs Bay. Everyone went ashore and soaked in the hot springs. Christine was excited to have Rufous Hummingbirds come to the feeder.

Day 4) 13 June – Left Warm Springs Bay and after being underway for a little more than an hour, we found a pod of six killer whales. We hung out with them for about an hour before continuing on to Gambier Bay on Admiralty Island.

Day 5) 14 June –  In the morning we timed a shore excursion for a low tide walk to do a little tide pooling and then to duck into the forest to see what plants were in bloom. We found Calypso Orchids, Tiny white Shy Maiden, and the unusual ground cone to name a few.

On our way to Holkham Bay, we were visited by several Dall’s Porpoises who rode the bow of the boat. We also got to stop and watch several humpback whales feeding in the middle of Stephens Passage. In the evening we anchored in Fords Terror.

Day 6) 15 June – Everyone got up early to catch the right tide for skiffing into the back of Fords Terror. It’s a beautiful steep-sided fjord that is only accessible through a narrow cut at slack water when the current running slows. After breakfast we went ashore to look at several icebergs that had come off of Dawes Glacier. The icebergs had floated into Fords Terror and grounded on a sandbar. There was one of the most beautiful icebergs we’ve ever seen sitting on the beach. Christine would have spent all day with if she could.

The David B anchored near a gorgeous beached glacier at Ford’s Terror.
Day 7) 16 June – Left Fords Terror for Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier. We got the glacier around 6pm and had the whole glacier to ourselves. Later that evening we anchored at Tracy Arm.

The Breathtaking Sawyer Glacier.

Day 8) 17 June – Left early in the morning for Juneau. Had a lovely trip with some of the nicest folks!


If Alaska is too much for you, we still have plenty of spots available for our San Juan Island 4-day and 3-day escapes once the David B returns from Alaska in August. Just look at our Schedule and then email Sarah@northwestnavigation.com to reserve your spot today!