Alaska: Day 5 - Glaciers and Inlets

The sun was up well before we left the Reid Inlet at 5:15am and the beautiful glow of sunrise washed over the mountain tops and kissed the clouds. 

Sitting there, gazing at this glacier, it was hard to grasp that just over 100 years ago, this glacier filled the entire inlet. 

When we set our alarms the evening prior, we decided to return to the John Hopkins Inlet during early morning light to photograph the glacier.  

After traveling north for an hour, we reached the inlet and we were still surrounded by a lingering soft pink light, one of the many perks of summer days in the northern part of North America. 

Gilman Glacier

Gilman Glacier


John Hopkins Glacier

We photographed the glacier for a half hour before I, again, had the urge to hit the water on my SUP. 

It was not safe for our boat to be close to the ice, because the potential for quickly becoming surrounded by ice was too great, but on my board, I knew could paddle through the smaller chunks and get some unique compositions.  

I wrapped my Canon 5D Mark III in a waterproof bag and took to the water. I was nervous about taking the camera out of the bag, but my comfort level and confidence on the board gave me the courage to take a chance, so I kneeled down and snapped a few shots. 


Photo by: Casey McCallister

Tarr Inlet & Margerie Glacier

After 2 hours in the John Hopkins Inlet, we ventured a bit farther north, right to the Canadian border, into the Tarr Inlet with high hopes of seeing this advancing glacier calve. 

Margerie Glacier 7-image pano

Margerie Glacier 7-image pano

We hadn't been there long when a small boat greeted us; the first small boat we had seen outside of the small radius around Barlett Cove.  

For over 4 hours, we floated in the inlet, making breakfast and enjoying the abnormally warm day on the deck of the boat, while waiting for chunks of ice to splash into the sea, but we still longed to see a massive chunk fall, sending wakes our direction. 

Just as we began to think we should venture on, we witnessed the most incredible calving; a section of ice over 100 feet tall came crashing into the water. 

A few moments later, we were riding the wake. 

When we began to leave, we noticed a cruise ship had made its way up the Tarr Inlet. They floated for a few minutes before turning around to allow guests on both side of the ship a view of the glacier. We waved to everyone and then headed towards Bartlett Cove. 

Back to Bartlett Cove

Boating has never seemed tedious to me, even if it requires hours on the water to arrive at a destination.

I grew up with parents who would waterski over a dozen times a year, which means I spent countless hours on boats. I'm sure that's why I love being on the water. 

The ride back to Bartlett Cove was four hours, but there was so much beauty, and even a few critters, to stare at along the way. 


The End of a Day

We arrived at Bartlett Cove around 5:45pm, had dinner in the lodge and ended the day with a beautiful sunset.