Friday, August 15, 2014

Alaska and the Yukon - Glacier Bay

July 22
Glacier Bay

We will spend all day today at sea, but we will be visiting Glacier Bay.  We slept in a bit and had a room service breakfast.  Val is feeling a little better today, but still not great.  Luckily she can enjoy the scenery of Glacier Bay from our balcony.

It was very foggy this morning and we thought we might not really see much of Glacier Bay, but as the morning wore on it burned off and we were treated to sunny day with surprisingly warm temperatures.  A group of rangers came aboard around 10:00 AM as we entered the Glacier Bay National Park.

We are entering Glacier Bay National Park.

The rangers are coming on board to narrate our trip through Glacier Bay.

Around 11:00 we went to a talk by the rangers giving us some background on what we would see today.  For lunch we got sandwiches at the Lido and brought them back to the room to eat and we watched the amazing scenery roll by as we sailed up the Icy Strait into Glacier Bay.  The scenery truly was amazing with the snow capped mountains and forested slopes coming down to the water’s edge.  There was quite a bit a lot of floating ice even some with seals on them sunning themselves. 


As we moved further into the bay we saw another Holland America ship leaving as well as a couple of smaller boats and even kayaks. By the time we got to the Glacier we were the only ship there. Compared with pictures we had seen, the glaciers had receded substantially, but it was still an amazing sight.  The rangers narrated as we sailed into Glacier Bay supplying us with historical and current information.  We actually sailed pretty close to the glacier and then the captain rotated the ship in a circle so all sides got a good look.  One thing that was really amazing was the constant sound of cracking of the glacier, we didn’t see anything actually fall into the water, but the sound alone was quite dramatic.  Rather than talk about it, Glacier Bay is better explained through pictures.

As we were looking at the glaciers, a seagull decided to hitch a ride on the balcony of the next cabin and stayed for quite a while.
It's hard to grasp how big the glacier is from these pictures.  Our cabin was nine stories from the water line and we had to keep some distance in case it decided to "calf".


We left Glacier Bay and made our way to John Hopkins Inlet.
After Glacier Bay we went into the John Hopkins Inlet where we saw the John Hopkins and Lamplugh Glaciers.

After the John Hopkins Inlet we headed out of Glacier Bay and dropped the rangers off at the park boundary around 7:00 PM.  All and all, an amazing day.  You couldn’t have asked for better weather and the scenery was spectacular.

Val was feeling better so we decided to go to the dining room for dinner for the first time this trip.  After dinner it was back to the room and early to bed as we have a very busy day tomorrow which starts pretty early.

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