“They’re longer days at sea, but the reward is unbeatable,” Casey said.
“Holgate is the people’s glacier,” Casey said. “But this is a cathedral.”
Sheer grandeur and awesome beauty—it was almost too much to take in all at once. I didn't want to miss a single minute. I forced myself to slow down and focus on the details of one area at a time. The glacier’s deep crevasses were prominent like weathered laugh lines, dynamically shifting even in the short time we were there. Tons of ice would calve from the glacier and thunder into the water.
Higher above, we witnessed the birth of a waterfall as a stream emerged from a crevasse above, continuously flowing the entire time we were there. And all the meanwhile, there were dozens of seals perched atop their personal mini icebergs and hardly noticing us.
The captain interrupted our thoughts over the speakers. “Well folks, we’ve been sitting here for an hour watching ice melt," he said. We all smiled. It had felt like ten minutes. And with that, he turned the engine back on and we began the journey back to Seward.
As if the trip couldn’t have been any better, on our way back we came across more orcas breaching in the distance. We approached them safely, giving them a healthy distance so as to not make them feel contained. And yet, one of them came to us. After a flash of its flipper—a sign that it would be going down for a deep dive—it swam under the boat and emerged on the port side only meters away.
The nine-hour Northwestern Fjord Tour departs daily from early June through the end of August from Kenai Fjords Tours in Seward, AK. A light breakfast and lunch is included. Bring your camera, some layers and a healthy dose of wonder.