Inside Passage Blog

By Linda Lewis



August 2, 2007 – Eagles and Icebergs in Tracy Arm


I have to say this is my all-time prize eagle picture. I just got lucky.

He was sitting on an iceberg in Tracy Arm with a buddy, so I started clicking away. (And Photoshop made the close-up, above, possible.)

As we got closer, they both got nervous and the one on the left took off first.

Then the second one lifted off.

This iceberg looks like dramatic shards of glass to me.

It amazes me that creatures with such a small body mass can sit on icebergs. Brrrr... Here is a huge berg in Tracy Arm filled with seagulls. The blue color is a product of the denseness of the ice. (No Photoshopping on this one.)

We wondered if we would see full-sized cruise ships this year in Tracy Arm. While we were sitting in our anchorage (bordered by icebergs) we got our answer. This ship had just crossed the Holkham Bar into Tracy Arm. Apparently not all of these huge ships go all the way up the arm to the face of Sawyer Glacier. Some go part way and send their smaller boats up.

I loved the lacey look of this iceberg.

This struck my fancy for its pagoda-like imagery.

And speaking of icebergs, here are some sitting right on the edges of the Holkham Bar entrance to Tracy Arm, in about 80-90 feet of water. Mark and I tried to light up a sector light on the south shore of Tracy Arm to help guide us across the bar, but had no luck doing so.
The buoys in the water marking the channel were blocked from our sight for part of our approach to the bar's channel. These pictures should make you really believe that the buoys at the bar can (and are frequently) pushed off their location quite easily by these massive icebergs.
Fortunately there are range markers on the island outside and across from the bar. Lining up with these range makers makes entrance and exit easy IF visibility is good and IF the bar's channel doesn't have a big iceberg sitting right in the middle of it!
Here is Mark driving us through the channel across the bar (with the iceberg on his side) as we exited Tracy Arm.

And here is the iceberg flanking the other side of the channel through the bar. This berg appeared to us to be stuck right on the bar. It certainly made us wonder if the buoys were in their correct positions. But we knew that the range markers are sure-fire for indicating the pathway since they are stationary and not buoys in the water.

Photo by Mark Bunzel

Perhaps you have had your fill of icebergs by now. The next email will take you up Tracy Arm to South Sawyer Glacier.

Linda & Dave
M/V Royal Sounder



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