Weather: We don't know what the temperature was because we don't have easy internet access anymore, but it was very cold in the morning and near the glacier, then warmer when we got to Williams Cove. Mostly overcast, with some sprinkles in the middle of the day.
Steps: Shaun - 4,329 steps, 10 floors climbed; Shannon - 4,702 steps, 14 floors climbed (yay! I finally have more steps than Mom!)
Critter count: about 5 harbor seals, 2 adult bald eagles and 2 juveniles, 3 mountain goats, including a baby one/kid, and some other birds (we don't remember what they were called). Plus, a bajillion gnats that followed us all the way down the Arm.
The destination for the morning was Tracy Arm, a fjord that ends (or begins, depending on how you look at it) at two glaciers, Sawyer and South Sawyer. The route is bounded by high hills that are dotted with mountain goats and lots of waterfalls, and there is a ton of other wildlife, such as harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and many different kinds of birds.
Once everyone was back on board, we had a few presentations by the National Geographic photographers and naturalists on staff, then we had lunch and prepared for our afternoon in Williams Cove.
The photo hike really concentrated on looking at the forest in a different way and taking pictures to tell the story. The photographer talked about composition, noticing light, and using the camera's different settings for different situations. Shaun found it very interesting, but it was a bit too slow for her liking. Here are a few examples of her pictures:
The nature hike was led by a very gregarious, yet quite knowledgeable naturalist, who, when he introduced himself to the passengers said that the only things he doesn't like are fungi and whales. Of course, now we all can't stop ribbing him for this. He told the group about the marine versus temperate rainforest conditions, the plants, wildlife, and more. He talked A LOT, so we went over our allotted time, and while it was interesting, Shannon was ready for it to be done.
As will be the norm for the next week, after our excursion, we all gathered in the lounge for hors d'oeuvres, and a presentation and recap of the day. Then we headed to dinner, where Shaun tried real King Salmon, and actually enjoyed it. We ended up sitting with four members of the staff, including our gregarious naturalist, and he and Shaun really livened the party up. We'll just leave it at that, but 50 Shades of Gray may have come up...
We were exhausted, so we went to bed, which is why this post is a day late. Sorry!