Alaska on the Amsterdam

Day 3 Tuesday June 9, 2015

Sailing the Tracy Arm

This remarkable day began with sunrise at 4:30 am. No one should even think I know this except that I read it on the Ship Television channel. However, this is really the day I was waiting for, and there was no disappointment what so ever. Thirty-three people were at Mass, and I treated myself to Breakfast in the elegant La Fontaine Dining room with linen and no children. Already by that time we were approaching the Tracy Arm named after a Secretary of the Interior at the time of Teddy Roosevelt at the time this rain forest was declared a National Forest. A true Fiord formed ages ago by the glacier we were about see rises up sharply from the water edge, and the fiord narrows as we moved deeper.

About 1:00pm I planted myself on the spot I had earlier selected and did not move from there until 5:15 when the ship turned around and headed for Juneau. I stood awe struck at the most remarkable natural scenery I think I have ever scene. This is more spectacular that Glacier Bay that I saw last November. We had sunshine making it all the more dramatic. The deeper we went the more narrow the passage and with that the wind began to come up making the 42 degree air seem much colder; but it was worth the chill. Before we passed into the “Tracy Arm”, we had quite a few sightings of Humpback whales which had us all wide eyed. The waterfalls were flowing with the spring thaw and the sound echoed around the fiord canyon. The ice was more obvious in the water as we moved closer to the Sawyer Glacier, but at the entrance to the fiord, the “Hanging Glacier came into view. It is an old Glacier that has receded from the water, and it hangs very steeply across two peaks. (Picture tomorrow)

There are several very tight turns as the ship moves very slowly up the fiord making the approach to the Sawyer Glacier all the more dramatic. Sea Otters were numerous lounging around on the ice. We all looked for bears, but no one seemed to sight any. Words are inadequate to describe this immense space and beauty, and even the pictures do not begin to capture it all. Since tomorrow we are in Juneau and rain is expected, I will add more pictures from today’s sail again tomorrow. Here is a look at the entrance to Tracy Arm and then our first sighting of the Sawyer Glacier.

06:09:15 Tracy Arm 3

06:09:15 Tracy Arm Sawyer Glacier 0

Father Tom Boyer