top of page
  • Capt. Eric

Dawes Glacier. Endicott Arm. First Contact!

We shoulda coulda?

Being Alaska the gorgeous weather of yesterday is long gone, replaced with rain, fog and grey. Should we have tried pushing all the way to the glacier yesterday? The reality is we didn't have time to make it there and back safely, and I'll chose safety over scenery everyday, so all of us on Enfin can keep going.

Like in LeConte Bay the further we progressed the more ice we encountered, but I was glad to have had that first experience and felt a lot more confident finding my way forward.

Making our way slowly

It was overall a lot easier than in LeConte, but I still had to maneuver tightly the closer we got to the face of the glacier. But this time we made it pretty close: 0.7 mile!

One more cape and turn and the glacier will reveal itself?

Like in LeConte the photos don't do justice to the amount of small bergy bits floating around, nor to the overall size of the place. Without frame of reference you might think the glacier's face is small. I'm sure you'd fit a whole city block there, no problem.

Let's not suck these in the propeller

Both Di and I were a little overwhelmed by it all. It'd been a personal dream of mine to bring MY boat into the ice to see a glacier, one that Di wholeheartedly embraced. We first formed that dream years ago when we cruise to Antarctica and decided "one day" we'd see a glacier from our boat.

"MY Enfin" (Finally) we made it happen. After years of dreaming, after months of doubting if I'd even make it back to my boat cancer free, after weeks of cruising North since we left Portland in April, we made it.

Hugs and joy all around as we took in the incredible views and sounds.

Far away from the face we could hear the loud cannon like booms of huge sections of the face caving in, and see the waves making their way towards us, quickly flattened by the weight of the ice all around.

And there it is! We couldn't approach any more as the water is full of small transparent bergy bits

Both Di and I sat on the pulpit to immortalize these incredible moments, feeling like King and Queen of the world (well of Enfin at least!) on our throne.

King of the world!

For reasons I ignore, we were the only boat around with no fast tourist boat, no cruise ship, no fishing boat in sight. It made the place even more magical.

The ice is getting too thick for Enfin

On the way back we had time to spare and stopped by at every large waterfall we saw. There are many of them!

Waters are so deep you can get within 100 feet of most waterfalls

The day of our first tidal glacier became the day of the waterfalls.

Leaving Endicott Arm, we made our way to the pass into Tracy Arm and Holkham Bay, finding the narrow channel half blocked by a large iceberg. Standing order rule on Enfin: icebergs have the right of way.

The narrow channel being restricted by the iceberg meant the tidal waters had even less room to flow out of the bay, making for strong currents. I opened the engine up a bit and got in to the safety of a shallow anchorage in a protected bay just on the other side of the channel.

Icebergs have the right of way

Iceberg in the middle of the pass. Strong current

An incredible day that Di and I will remember forever.

Off to Tracy Arm.

50 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page