Tracy Arm

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Glacier Bay
Tracy Arm


Day 6 - Tuesday, 11 September 2001

Our ship was entering Tracy Arm as we made it up on deck about 6 am. A glorious sunrise had just started to unfold.

Tracy Arm sunrise

We were unaware that United flight 175 flew into the south tower of New York's World Trade Center about the time we took our first picture today. We were also unaware that American Airlines flight 11 had flown into the north tower about 5:45 am while we were getting dressed. It would be at least six hours before we would learn of the tragedy that was unfolding while we enjoyed the beautiful sunrise.

Some chunks of ice seemed to be lit from within.

We were fascinated by the various size and shapes of the mini icebergs.

Some call this ice soup.

The farther we got back into Tracy Arm the slower our ship sailed. There were chunks of ice everywhere. You could hear the clunk as we hit some of the little icebergs. Ice soup is what some call areas where there are lots of small icebergs.

This seal went into the water shortly after I took the picture.

We saw lots of moderate size icebergs with interesting shapes. One had been claimed by three sea lions. They vacated their berg once we got too close for their comfort.

Breakfast was over by the time we reached the face of the North and South Sawyer Glaciers. Captain Coxwell took the boat as close to the face of South Sawyer as safety permitted. We drifted around there for about 30 minutes. Several pieces of ice broke from the glacier while we were watching.

The South Sawyer Glacier

While we were visiting the bridge Captain Coxwell told us that a LOT of ice had disappeared from the glacier since he had stopped here only seven days earlier on the northbound cruise.

Water pours from a large chunk of ice that has just surfaced.

Another large chunk of ice lost its grip on the face of the glacier.

As we headed back out of Tracy Arm it was about noon when we heard about the World Trade Center disaster. The announcement contained few facts. The information had been passed from another boat. Since we were out of cell phone and radio range it would be several more hours before we got many details. It would be tomorrow morning when we reached Ketchikan before we would see any photos.

From Tracy Arm we sailed down Stephens Passage past Five Fingers Lighthouse and into Frederick Sound. At Petersburg we turned into Wrangell Narrows.

About 8:30 PM we entered Sumner Strait and turned east to pass on the eastern side of Zarembo Island and through Stikine Strait.

About midnight we passed Steamer Bay and headed into Clarence Strait. We would awake tomorrow morning as we neared Ketchikan.