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Un-Cruise Adventures - Wilderness Discoverer Cruise of Alaska's Inside Passage


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Cruising in Endicott Arm - Ford's Terror - Day 4
Ford's Terror in Endicott Arm - Inside Passage of Alaska

Ford's Terror is a narrow fjord off of Endicott Arm. It has dozens of waterfalls and steep cliffs. Doesn't the Wilderness Discoverer look tiny when surrounded by the massive fjord?

Ford's Terror (c) Linda Garrison

Glacier Day on the Wilderness Discoverer

The next morning, I woke up about dawn and realized the Un-Cruise Adventures Wilderness Discoverer was still sailing. I guessed the Captain was continuing to look for a calmer cove where we could kayak, so she was probably on plan "D" by now, having had to cancel plans A, B, and C. The wind was really blowing a gale during the night, so I was not surprised it might be difficult.

As noted on the previous page, the Captain had planned for us to go to a secluded harbor and have hiking, kayaking, and paddle boarding. However, after sailing around all night (rather than anchoring about midnight as planned), she finally decided that we would have "glacier day" instead of more active pursuits. She just couldn't find a place with flat enough water for us to board the small boats or the kayaks. So, we crossed Stephens Passage and went up Endicott Arm, a narrow fjord that splits into two smaller arms several miles up--one goes to Sawyer Glacier where the Wilderness Discoverer went the previous week, and the second went leads to Dawes Glacier.

As it turned out, it was an excellent decision. We soon found calmer water, started seeing glaciers such as my favorite-named Sumdum Glacier, and arrived at Ford's Terror, a narrow pass of water that juts out of larger Endicott Arm about 10 am. While sailing, one of the expedition guides Randall gave a presentation on glaciers to acquaint/re-acquaint us with these fascinating rivers of ice.

Waterfalls in Ford's Terror

During our revised "port talk" over a breakfast of grits, scrambled eggs with veggies, and the yummy bacon, Kristen the expedition leader had said the fates would have us arrive at Ford's Terror near slack tide, which would allow us to use the four small boats to ride through the narrow passageway into the fjord. The Wilderness Discoverer stopped (too deep to anchor) and the first group of 11/11/6/6 (number of passengers in each boat) hopped in and explored the fjord for about an hour or so. They came back raving about how magnificent the waterfalls were. Guess all the rain they'd had in the summer came in handy for something! It's only the second time this season the ship has been there at the right tidal time.

Julie and I had signed up for one of the six-passenger Zodiacs, and we had Kim for a guide and Kristen as our driver. We were the last boat to leave for Ford's Terror. The trip was amazing. We saw huge waterfalls, with tons of water dropping thousands of feet. The tide was strong, and it was almost like riding on a river as Kristen navigated the boat up the fjord. We clung to the rock walls, looking at vegetation and the geological formations, only venturing out to avoid the waterfalls. Kristen showed us "her favorite" waterfall, and we loved watching the changing clouds and the small icebergs.

Alaska Adventure on the Wilderness Discoverer -- Cruise Travel Log

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