Monday, August 20, 2018

Trip to Alaska - Day 5 - Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay

Tuesday, August 14

This was our view when we woke up..

We even shared the water with another cruise ship..

As we entered the bay, we stopped quickly in
Bartlett Cove at the National Park Service office.
There we picked up park ranger Jacob McFee,
who is an expert on the glaciers.

He gave us an overview of what we would see
along the way,
facts about the two glaciers we would spend time at,
and the wild animals we might see.

We spent the whole day (from 6 am until we dropped him
back off at 11 pm) cruising around Glacier Bay.
George and I would go up to the top deck to view,
sometimes we would come back down to our room
and sit on the balcony to view.
The captain of the ship would always stop the ship,
make sure the port side got a great view,
then spin slowly around to the starboard side.

Our first view was of the massive Stellar Sea Lions.
We see lots of sea lions in Monterey Bay,
but these guys were huge!

We were close enough to hear them grunting :-)

As we got closer to the glaciers, the water became
increasingly a blue-green color.
This picture is from the 4th deck aft, the Sky Lounge.

Once again some more sea lions,
deciding it was time for a swim!

There were a few Puffins floating nearby as well.

All throughout this glacially carved bay
were waterfalls, some small..

..some large.

We then came upon some rocky cliffs,
with some mountain goats grazing!

They were difficult to see with the naked eye,
but we could find them with binoculars,
then my telephoto lens.

There was a little family leaping around the rocks.

We sailed through the bay for miles,
only going about 15 mph.

Before we knew it,
the first glacier we see is Margerie Glacier.
It is one of 7 tidewater glaciers,
meaning they break off or 'calve' when hitting the warmer
salt water, especially at high tide.

This part of the ship is the upper sun deck,
including a putting green :-)

It was a bit chilly, so we were all bundled up!

This dirty thing is the Grand Pacific Glacier.
We all thought it was a mountain, but it
is picking up so much dirt and landslides
as it moves, it's covered!

All around the ship in the water were icebergs of
various sizes.
This is ice that have 'calved' off the face of the glacier.
This guy hitched a ride on one.

He got bored and took off.

The scale of the glacier is so hard to tell.
It is 1 mile wide, and 250 high above the waterline,
but about 100 feet below the water.
It is also 21 miles long!
It moves about 6 feet per day.

The noise that the glacier makes is incredible!
It pops, cracks, sizzles..

It was amazing to see a chunk break off,
and splash in the water.
Apparently some of these 'chunks' are as big
as a small car!

We saw a lot of Black-legged Kittiwake Gulls.
They seem to sit on the cold water,
skimming small marine creatures off of the surface.

As we came out of the bay in the afternoon,
we were excited to see some brown bears on the shore.

What a day!!

A bit about the cruise itself..
In the morning we have breakfast,
pretty much anything you could ask for.

At 10 am warm cookies are served!

Lunch at 12:30 and dinner at 6:30
 come with a menu with 2 appetizers,
4 entrees, and usually 3 desserts.

In between, at 5:30, is cocktail hour.
The staff will serve any kind of drink,
and appetizers are served as well.

In the main dining room there is no assigned seating.
Mom, George, and I sat at the same table,
along with a lovely couple from Colorado.
We were able to 'reserve' the table everyday,
because we fell in love with our server, Joy.

Our cocktail hour on Glacier Bay was fun.
Two of the deckhands scooped some glacial ice
out of the bay and had it on display.

What a great day this was!

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating info on the glacier, and more awesome wildlife sightings! Really nice that the captain did his part to make sure everyone got a great view.