Posted by: jsmcfadden | August 12, 2009

Early Morning on Glacier Day

The plan was to sail into Tracy Arm (a way they refer to the fjords — “arms” of the sea), but early that morning was very foggy and the water icier than the captain would have liked. So the plan was revised, and we headed toward Endicott Arm, which ends where the Dawes Glacier does. Or does it begin there?

In any case, much of that morning was not at all still. A deck below us, and a couple of staterooms over, were some very loud and obnoxious people. Early morning drunks is what it sounded like to us! I’m talking early — 5:30 a.m. early. Of course, when the sun rises at 4:20, as it did, 5:30 is fairly light out. Sunset, by the way, wasn’t until 10:30 or so at night. Nice.

Anyway, these are from the approach into Endicott Arm, within it, and then, finally the Dawes Glacier.




Again, the idea of scale.


The stillness of the water, the huge trees and immense mountain. Imagine the temperature and speed of that water falling down the mountain into the fjord. Awe-inspiring.

Too bad we had the “Wakey! Wakey!” soundtrack going on most of the time.




 And then, of course, there were the chunks of glacial ice floating by us. The sound of the water lapping on the undersides of these icebergs. Tried to capture it, but got … you guessed it … “Wakey! Wakey!” instead. This one was probably 25 to 30 feet long.



Keeping our eyes just fixed on the spot where we knew we would see the glacier. And then seeing it. I remember just standing there a long time before I thought of the camera around my neck.


Just immense.


What a day — calm, still water; light wind, but SO cold off the glacier. We were glad for our good jackets and hoods.

The narrowness of the Arm at that point was impressive, especially after the naturalist on board said the captain was going to turn the ship 360 degrees so that everyone could get a good look at this glacier.





And then that’s what he did. 










And then we were turned around and headed out of the Arm and toward Juneau. There were waterfalls on the other side of the fjord, too.

And in Juneau — a canoe trip to another glacier.betweenendicottandjuneauforweb



  1. Just finished watching Ken Burns “The National Parks”. Saw beautiful images of this and thought of your trip. Being there must’ve been inspirational. It was stunning just seeing it on TV.

  2. Wow, I can’t believe the color of the glacier. So blue turquoise – just amazing. The whole canoe thing would have been a little freaky for me too. I was thinking “where are those stabilizing pontoon things that come off the side to prevent tipping over?”

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