Glacier Bay never disappoints, though it can be different every trip so we never know what to expect. We headed to our favorite puffin spot, expecting to see lots of tufted puffins…
…but we were happily surprised by a little gang of four horned puffins too!
There was also a small flock of common murres nearby, though I almost missed them in my excitement to photograph the puffins.
Gulls and pelagic cormorants were hanging out, nesting on the cliff face…
…but the tufted puffins dominated the scene.
Meanwhile the Steller sea lions were moaning and groaning nearby, hauled out on the rocks.
With big male beachmasters weighing in around 2000 lbs.
The youngsters ran around in big packs, splashing lightning-fast mercury with fins and whiskers.
Whales were plentiful in the lower part of the bay, and we had to wait for a mother and calf humpback to finish feeding before we could head into our anchorage for the evening.
It was a fantastic show! We kept our distance to keep from disturbing the whales, and they rewarded us with 30 minutes of blowing and diving tails.
Just in case we hadn’t had enough wildlife for one day, a black bear wandered out of the woods and spent a long time working along the beach, munching on barnacles, mussels and clams. He must have been in a fight or two – his right ear was laying flat against his head, and he had a chunk of nose missing.
We even got to see some nice sunset light (after 10pm) to close out our first day up in the bay. It’s hard to imagine that things can get better, but they usually do.