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.
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.
Once 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.
Getting out with your images – Podcast with Photographer Matt Meisenheimer
The David B is a fantastic platform for photography, and some of our favorite cruises are our Photography Workshops in both Alaska and the San Juan Islands. As part of our Northwest Navigation Podcast, we interviewed photography instructor and nature photographer Matt Meisenheimer about what has shaped him as a photographer and some of his favorite photo adventures.
Matt will be leading our Alaska Fjords Photography Workshop this July – Trip #340. Be sure to check out our Schedule Page for dates, rates, availability, and discounts for this cruise and workshop.
Listen: Getting out with your images – Northwest Navigation Website
Listen: Getting our with your images – iTunes
Listen: Getting out with your images – Spotify
Listen: Getting out with your images – Google
About Matt: Matt is a Wisconsin based photographer. His artistry revolves around exploring the wilderness and constantly seeking new adventures. He strives to capture brief moments of dramatic light and weather. Matt loves the process of photography — from planning trips and scouting locations to taking the shots in-field, and post-processing the final image.
Scroll down to view some of Matt’s images:
Getting Out with Your Images
Click to listen to: Matt Meisenheimer — Photographer
Baird Glacier Landscape
Rocks on the outwash plain at Baird Glacier. In 2015 a glacial outburst flood called a jokulhlaup broke the glacier away from its terminal moraine. The landscape was completely changed. A friend said another outburst flood happened in September. We’re looking forward to seeing what changes the glacier made to its landscape. It’s what we love about spending time around glaciers. They always are up to something.
Join us in Alaska for a chance to see and learn more about this incredible and dynamic landscape. For our most in-depth trips, we suggest either Trip #336, AdventuresNW Magazine’s Photography Workshop or Trip #339, Ecology of Southeast Alaska with naturalist and killer whale researcher John McInnes.
Don’t forget to do your plank today
The good bears at Pack Creek would like to remind you that a couple minutes of plank every day will help build good strong core muscles.
If you love bears, come on one of our Alaska cruises. In 2019 we are teaming back up with Pack Creek Bear Tours to visit the Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area. This is a special experience where you get to closely observe coastal brown bears. We have two trips that include Pack Creek in our 2019 schedule:
Trip #334: Glaciers, Fjords, and Bears
Dates: May 11-18, 2019
Disembarks: Auke Bay, Juneau
For More information: https://northwestnavigation.com/petersburg-to-juneau-with-pack-creek-bear-viewing/
Trip #336: AdventuresNW Magazine Photo Workshop – Tracy Arm/Fords Terror Wilderness & Pack Creek Bear Viewing
Dates: May 31 – June 9, 2019
Departs: Auke Bay, Juneau
For more information: https://northwestnavigation.com/alaska-adventure-photography-cruise/
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.
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.