Cloud Ridge Naturalists     2 0 0 7
Glacier Bay, photo Audrey Benedict
Wild Ocean Mists:
A Naturalist's Voyage to Glacier Bay National Park & Lituya Bay
   C O N T E N T S
May 13 – 24, 2007

Leaders: Dr. Geoff Hammerson, Dr. Alan Burger, Audrey Benedict, Kimber Owen & the Crew of the M/V Sea Wolf

Imagine Glacier Bay as John Muir saw it in 1899, as a member of the legendary Harriman Expedition— without the cruise ships, the guidebooks, and interpretive signs that define the modern visitor’s experience. Aboard the M/V Sea Wolf, our 97-foot vintage wooden boat, we’ll have the chance to see this spectacular glacier and fjord landscape in much the same way that Harriman’s scientists did. Unlike the big cruise ships, M/V Sea Wolf is trim enough to explore the narrowest of fjords and shallow coastal waters, slipping quietly past electric-blue icebergs. She carries twelve passengers and a crew of five in superb comfort— the perfect size for a voyage such as ours. Best of all, Sea Wolf carries a full complement of sea kayaks and a motorized inflatable to enable exploration both far and wide. For those who take paddle in hand, the use of sea kayaks allows a more intimate, seal’s eye view of the tidewater glaciers, inlets, islets, and estuary streams that make this coastal wilderness one of North America’s richest and most biologically diverse areas.

May is a magical time to be in Glacier Bay National Park because we have it largely to ourselves— just the bears, the first returning humpback whales, and the thousands of migrating shore and seabirds bound for Arctic nesting sites. Both Glacier Bay and Lituya are major stops on the Pacific Flyway. Against a backdrop of some of the most magnificent mountains on earth, rivers of glacial ice tumble into the sea and aquamarinecolored icebergs drift by on the tides. Responding to the boom and crash of ice at the glacier front, kittiwakes and Arctic terns swirl over the churning, welling waters in search of food. Western sandpipers and other shorebirds skitter along the shorelines, poking their bills into the food-rich mud and gravels of the intertidal zone. Sea ducks and enormous rafts of harlequin ducks forage in the quiet bays before making the final push to their nesting areas. Grizzlies and black bears, recently emerged from their hibernation dens, can be seen bending the branches of black cottonwoods down to feed on the sweetly-resinous leaf buds, grazing on swards of lush sedges, and scraping succulent barnacles and mussels from rocks along the water’s edge. For the wildlife of Glacier Bay and the outer islands, this is truly a time of plenty.

iceberg calving, Glacier Bay

Along the wild, storm-battered coastline of the Gulf of Alaska, just south of the Tlingit village of Yakutat, a whale-shaped fjord—Lituya Bay—lies at the foot of the spectacular Fairweather Range. Nowhere else in the world do mountains tower so far above the sea. The only access to this legendary wilderness arm of Glacier Bay National Park is by small boat or seaplane—well beyond the capabilities of most Park visitors. Lituya Bay is situated at the confluence of three glaciers—the Lituya, the Cascade, and the North Crillon—and centered along a T-shaped epicenter of intense geologic activity known as the Fairweather Fault. Since 1899, nine earthquakes have rumbled across the region, toppling mountains and flaying this ice-carved land to its bedrock roots. In 1958, a magnitude 8.3 earthquake centered on Cross Sound, located forty-five miles to the southeast, set the fjord into earth-wrenching motion.The collapse of an entire mountainside near the head of Lituya triggered a 1,740-foot tsunami-like wave. The wave completely decapitated the snout of Lituya Glacier, scoured all the trees from thewalls of the fjord, and destroyed three fishing boats anchored in the bay. The swirling maelstrom took a tremendous toll on the bay’s wildlife—seabirds, fish, marine animals, whales, bears, and wolves. For humans, the quake was no less devastating. Despite its violent history, Lituya Bay offers some of the most spectacular wilderness to be found anywhere. Join us for this very special voyage of discovery!

Price: $4,600 (includes a $500 deposit)

Group Size: 12
Trip Rating: 3

Price Includes: 10 nights/10 days aboard the M/V Sea Wolf, spacious cabins with private facilities, all meals and beverages aboard and one group dinner in Juneau, the services of a fiveperson crew and four naturalist leaders, a copy of The Nature of Southeast Alaska, one nights’ lodging in Juneau (May 23), roundtrip/scenic charter float-plane flight (includes a 1 hr. 45 min. scenic tour) from Juneau to Gustavus and Lituya Bay to Juneau, all boat/hotel transfers, full sea kayak outfitting and instruction, and gratuities to the Sea Wolf crew. Does not include roundtrip airfare to Juneau, Alaska from your point of departure or meals other than those listed.


Seawolf in Lituya Bay
More Information? Visit Sea Wolf Adventures at for pictures of the M/V Sea Wolf, the boat’s layout, amenities, and biographies of her crew members. For the adventure-bound, mobility-challenged traveler, the M/V Sea Wolf has been retrofitted for wheel chair accessibility and provides a lift between decks and full sea kayak support.
Cave above the Yampa, photo Alice Levine
Cloud Ridge Naturalists
8297 Overland Road
Ward Colorado 80481
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