South Sawyer Glacier, Tracey Arm

Noted California naturalist, John Muir, visited the South Sawyer Glacier in 1880. How did they visit these icy places before Gore-Tex? He camped on these boulders next to the iceberg.

The glacier was calving, giving our guide, Nikki, a few worries about her newbie kayakers, getting too close to a ‘growler’, or a rolling iceberg, which could take us with it. They are beautiful, often totally compressed to a color of deep blue.


Laying on the ice at South Sawyer Glacier and also plentiful in the water with us, are Harbour seals. Young seals in the water, heads bobbing up with a piercing look, then ducking away. On the glacier are dozens of Mama seals, with their newborns. The glaciers are so treacherous a terrain, the Mamas and babies are safe from predators. Wolves or bears won’t venture onto this erratic ice field.

Seals and Pups

Some of the icebergs are so big, they are like a hill that can almost hide a ship.

We paddled and played with the inquisitive seals.

South Sawyers Glacier