A couple days out, the forecast was looking good for some sunny weather in Tracy Arm. This prompted us to leave Petersburg. With Darwin Sound, we headed for an anchorage in Hobart Bay, 48nm north, and 25nm south of the entrance to Tracy Arm.

On our way north, we were accompanied by thousands of migrating birds like these Surf Scoters.

The little bay in Entrance Island, Hobart Bay was too small for both boats to anchor, so we invited Darwin Sound to raft up to Whistler. The dock to the left was in water too shallow for our keels.

Leaving Hobart Bay, Baranof Island mountain range to the west reflected the early morning sunshine. Photo of Whistler by Irene on Darwin Sound. I am often on the deck, camera in hand.

Along the 25nm passage from Hobart Bay to Tracy Arm, several humpback whales were transiting the same route.

Seeing a tail means the whale is saying “Au revoir”!

Numerous cruise ships were funnelling up Stevens Passage on their way to Tracy Arm or Juneau, 70nm north.

Holkham Bay is the entrance to both Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm. The Tongass National Forest surrounds the area. Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness, designated in 1990, contains over 650,000 acres with one-fifth covered in ice. Tracy Arm was named after Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Franklin Tracy (1830-1915).

In Holkham Bay, we were excited to see our first iceberg. From a distance, we thought it was a ship.

As we approached Tracy Arm, Carnival Spirit entered the narrow entrance to the inlet.

Smaller passenger boats, St. Herman and St. Philip (below), were standing by inside, ready to whisk some cruise ship passengers closer to the glaciers than the cruise ships could safely navigate.

Endicott Arm leads to Dawes Glacier and Fords Terror. Though experiencing Fords Terror was high on Darwin Sound’s wish list, the forecast wasn’t right to linger another day to venture up that inlet. Maybe another time.

We tried to time slack in the narrows, which was around 2 or 3pm. With Darwin Sound to our port, we transited around 1pm. The ebb current was not very strong. However, exploring the 22nm long inlet with its constant ebb current in a sailboat that goes 6 1/2 knots was a challenge to complete in daylight.

The inlet leads to North and South Sawyer Glaciers and is carved between 4000-foot-high granite walls with deep gorges and mystifying waterfalls. Snow-capped mountains peak out between the valleys. North Sawyer is no longer a tidewater glacier, so at the junction, we elected to push on toward South Sawyer Glacier. Photos of Whistler below are compliments of Irene on Darwin Sound.

Below, Darwin Sound is dwarfed by the icebergs in the Arm.

Up inlet, another cruise ship, Silver Shadow, traded positions with Carnival Spirit.

When the ice bergs got too thick for our plastic boat, we turned around.

Below, Irene’s image of our boat by the ice bergs floating from South Sawyer Glacier.

A seal rests on an ice berg. They have their pups on the ice where they are safe from the orcas.

Below is the track we took in Tracy Arm. We got close to where the South Sawyer Glacier calves into the Arm. The Canadian Border is not far away.

Monty picked up some bergie bits with our fish net.

Around 830pm, we dropped anchor in Tracy Arm Cove. Our log showed 83nm in just under 15 hours. We were so fortunate to see the magnificent scenery on a rare clear day! We celebrated with a cocktail served with a few jagged nuggets of South Sawyer Glacier ice!