Ice dots the water across the entry, large bergs lie beached near the shore stranded between tides. We pick are way carefully though the crowd, many of the chunks larger that our vessel. The bar across the entry to Tracy Arm is betrayed by a long line of icebergs grounded to reveal the shallow water beneath. Here the history of a thousand winters lies shattered about the landscape like broken glass.
The U.S. Coast Guard is tasked with maintaining the many critical navigational aids throughout the waterways of Alaska. Tracy Arm is entered across a narrow gap in a large bar, probably on old glacial moraine across the mouth of the fjord. The channel is marked by two buoys, one had been missing for a few days, ripped from its mooring by the impressive tides that surge across the bar. The buoy was back in place when we arrived, replaced by the crew of the USCG Anthony Petit, a Coast Guard buoy tender.