Friday, July 9, 2010

Glacier Bay and College Fjord

Perhaps the highlight of an Alaska Inside Passage cruise is the Glacier Bay and College Fjord. Only a 360 degree panorama would start to do justice to the sights. Click on any of the pictures to get an enlargement. Even so, the vastness is still not conveyed. Even though the above picture is not the clearest, the boat in the picture provides a perspective of how high and large the mountains are.

As with the flowers, most of the pictures tell their own story. Very few will have an explanation. Knowing that one is viewing Reid Glacier or Lamplugh Glacier does not add to the beauty. We will point out the shots of Margerie Glacier as that is the one that is famous for its ice calving (breaking away of large mass of ice).
Small chunk of ice broken off from a glacier. Still has dirt from the downhill glide. The blue/green color of the water is caused by the abundance of plankton, beginning the feeding cycle.

Margerie Glacier
Margerie Glacier up close. Margerie is 25 stories high (250 feet) 

Sailing away from Margerie.

Christine and Roy with traveling companion below:
Inside joke for our Midland/Odessa friends.

Holland American cruise liner. A cruise ship generally has 14 floors so some perspective of how high and vast the mountains are is provided. 
As a cruise ship enters the Glacier Bay, a pilot is ferried out to the boat to help maneuver through the ever-changing channels. The tender moves in closely enough for the pilot to hop onto the cruise ship. The reverse happens as the ship leaves the bay into more open sea.
Tender crew waves to the audience attracted by the transfer.

Wish I could remember what setting I had the camera on as this shot was taken. Blue tinge is surreal.

Glaciers on the left and right side of the picture.

Water is so smooth. No wake is generated as we leave the bay which keeps the Bay undisturbed.
Technically the above and next two pictures are not in the Bay or Fjord. They are of our approach to Whittier, Alaska. The pictures were taken at midnight.

At Whitter we disembarked and boarded a train for a nine hour trip to Denali National Park.
Aboard the train that takes us to our next adventure. But as it turns out the ride and scenery to get to the destination leads us to the next batch of pictures in the series.

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