Cruising Southeast Alaska - 2009

By Linda Lewis


14. Dawes Glacier – At End of Endicott Arm


The face of Dawes Glacier was the goal for the day. This is another spot we had been leery of because there is little information available for cruisers. We asked around, got a little more information, and decided to give it a try.

Take a look at this screen shot of the very small scale (1:80,000) chart you have to work with. You can see that the end of Endicott Arm (on the right) is a blue blank and says “unsurveyed”. That kept us away for a number of years. The circle with a dot - at far right - is where we ended up viewing the face of the glacier. Seeing a charter boat leave that spot as we were approaching demonstrated to us that is was possible to get that close.

The question as we started out, however, was: would we be able to get all the way up the arm or would the bergie bits (glacier ice in the water) stop us before we could get that far?

Even if we couldn't get to the end of Endicott Arm, we were seeing lots of beauty along the way. This hanging glacier peeked out as we looked to the north.

Everywhere we turned, we saw amazing views. It was a hazy day, but the views were still beautiful.

At this point we were still asking, will we get to see it? Then we turned this corner and there it was - off in the distance. We were actually quite surprised at how open the path was.

Now we were sure we would be able to get quite close.

As we kept looking around us, we were captured by this particular waterfall.

Here's the view of this waterfall that we liked the best. Look at those huge rock formations that divert the path of the water.

You might say I was getting excited by knowing we were going to be able to get really close.

Here's what all the excitement is about.

The beautiful blue.

And we're still two miles from the face.

Here we are at a quarter mile from the face.

Beautiful, isn't it?

More beauty.

And more.

We had turned away to start our departure when I heard the crack that sounds like gunfire. I grabbed the camera and looked back. The glacier was calving.

Look at the big swelling wave that emanates from the ice crashing into the water.

We were finally going to have to leave - with the Green Devil bringing up the rear.

We were happy to have seen Dawes Glacier.

The Royal Sounder had made yet another "prudent adventure".

We hope you liked the glacier photos. Wait until you see the fabulous breaching-whale picture that David took as we next made our way through Frederick Sound to Petersburg. We'll also have next, "What It's Like to Lose Your Steerage in Wrangell Narrows" tale to tell.



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