Our final full day in Glacier Bay National Park was spent in Bear Track Cove. As the name would imply, many people expected that we’d get an opportunity to see bear, but the creatures were extremely elusive and would not be spotted. After breakfast I sat up on the sun deck enjoying the lovely weather, getting caught up on some reading. Alan joined me for a few hands of cards before disappearing below deck to chat with other passengers. Because the winds had picked up in the late morning, rather than open kayaking we were given the option to do a guided kayak with Alex. We jumped at the chance to get off the boat and get back in the kayak. Wow. That was some crazy wind. The lessons we had taken before our trip had helped tremendously with the aches and pains we typically experienced when kayaking in Hawaii, but I knew I was likely going to be sore. In addition to having to paddle with everything I had, the wind was also strong enough to blow off my hat so I got both a little windburned and sunburned. After about an hour our group turned around and went back to the boat.
Later in the afternoon, we heard the announcement that the polar plunge would be taking place from the fan tail on deck 3. I had thought long and hard about whether I was going to participate before we left, and decided that there simply wasn’t enough time to get to my room, get my bathing suit on, and get down to the group in time to jump in. Or at least that’s what I told myself. The fact of the matter is, I wasn’t quite ready to make the plunge. Given that we had another week on our trip I promised myself I’d do it before our trip was over. It was fun to watch everyone though.
Later in the afternoon we pulled up anchor and made our way back to the Glacier Bay Lodge to drop off the ranger, and then make our way toward Juneau for the next morning’s disembarking. Some passengers were very upset not to have seen the amount of wildlife that they had hoped to, so this last evening was a great way to boost their spirits. As we pulled into Gustavus, everywhere we looked were sea otters, porpoises, and yes, even whales. Dropping off Ranger Jeanine, we were joined at the dock by the National Geographic boat, Sea Lion. As we silently compared our ship to it (we had a better kayak launch!), passengers waved back and forth to one another, giddy at the closing of a beautiful day in Southeast Alaska, and just a little bit sad for the close of a wonderful week aboard the Wilderness Discoverer.