Expedition Notes: Alaska Aug 14-24 aboard Swell

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Alaska Supervoyage Mid Trip Report – Aug 14-24, 2018

We are on Day 7 of the Alaska Supervoyage aboard Swell. We have just returned from exploring Ford’s Terror. A single blue iceberg at the entrance was remarkably beautiful, its two-tone colour set off by the towering dark mountains behind it. We entered the narrows as rain began to fall, the first real rain since the beginning of our trip.  A fierce wind shook the trees along shore as we made our way through the narrows. We pushed against the current into a wider expanse of water between steep cliffs of black rock. These rocks are gouged and marked in patterns sculpted by ice, thousands of years ago. The size and shapes seemed more ominous being darkened by the rain. We paused to admire mirrored canyons across from each other on either side of the fjord, they must have been created at a fault line.  Next we came upon a huge waterfall pouring down in cascades from at least 3500 feet above. Where it entered the sea, it was beautifully braided around large mossy green boulders. The rain came harder as we ventured further.  Suddenly two Harbour Porpoises surfaced beside us. Feeling like we’d experienced the best of Terror, we returned to the boat to warm up.

Matt and Candace collected two huge chunks of ice from an iceberg at Dawes Glacier earlier today. Pre-dinner tonight, we enjoyed listening to the berg sizzle of glacial ice in our drinks. When asked, the guests were quick to describe four major highlights of the trip so far:
(1) listening to the trumpeting songs of the Humpback Whales as they lunged to the surface through bubble nets,
(2) watching the Brown Bears fishing for “Humpies” (Pink Salmon) at Pack Creek,
(3) gazing in amazement as the blue ice cracked and calved and rolled at Dawes Glacier, and
(4) Chef Mary’s incredibly delicious meals – each and every breakfast, lunch and dinner served throughout the trip.  Guests and crew are enjoying each other tremendously and looking forward to the next 3 days.  Everyone wishes we could stay longer!

Written by Naturalist, Barb Beasley

Photo by: Given Davies


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