Southeast Alaska is a land of superlatives; immense, iconic and impressive. These past two weeks spent on the National Geographic Sea Lion with Lindblad Expedtions was all of these and more. Two action packed weeklong “photo departures” with many of the guests fulfilling their lifelong “bucket lists” and bringing home incredible photos. The talented photo team included National Geographic Photographer, Jay Dickman and three Lindblad Photo Instructors; Rich Kirchner, Emily Mount and myself.
The extra long days included early morning wakeup calls and greeted with iconic scenes like a mirrored images of Gut Bay and early morning orcas in Glacier Bay. The breaching humpback whales, feeding Stellar sea lions and eagles snatching fish around us at Cross Sound on a 16-foot incoming tide was also a life experience. Each day the “WOW factor” was greater and greater. Our visit to South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm – Fords Terror Wilderness was also one of those unforgettable memories with a colossal calving from this tidewater glacier and then a twenty story cobalt blue shooter erupted from under the water.
Each day new friends were made and memories forged into our minds from this iconic destination. One is continually surprised what Mother Nature can provide regardless of how many times you visit Southeast Alaska. National Geographic Society President in 1910 and Member of the 1899 Harriman Expedition to Alaska, Henry Gannett summarized his Alaska experience best;
“There is one word of advice and caution to be given those intending to visit Alaska for pleasure. If you are old, go by all means. But if you are young, wait. The scenery of Alaska is much grander than anything else of the kind in the world and it is not well to dull one’s capacity for enjoyment by seeing the finest first.”
I am looking forward to another six weeks of pure natural bliss in Southeast Alaska this summer.