Sunday, August 19, 2012

Glacier Bay

Our second day on the cruise took us into Glacier Bay National Park.  The mist-shrouded forests we passed were a clear indication that viewing conditions would likely be anything but.

Margerie Glacier at the end of Tarr Inlet was our destination -- a mile wide and not receding, unlike most of the glaciers in the park.

If the only wildlife you cared about seeing were orcas or dolphins, you were likely to be disappointed.  But if you could appreciate the sea gulls, you'd find nearly every moment enjoyable.

Many of us on the deck were sure this section of the glacier was going to calve at any moment.  It didn't.

Some of the patterns made by the rock in the glacier were reminiscent of fudge ripple ice cream.

Our ship sat by the glacier for more than an hour, thoughtfully turning about so both the port and starboard sides got a good view.

Just happened to have the camera pointed in the right place at the right time to catch this bit of calving.  We tried to predict when it was going to happen by sound, but without much luck.  Usually by the time you heard a crack the broken-off ice was already falling.

Only one other small ship was in the area while we were there, and it didn't seem in any hurry to go anywhere.

Rangers from the park and a cultural interpreter from one of the native peoples in the area came on board to give talks, which were a nice touch.  And the rangers brought the National Park passport stamp, which I appreciated even more. :)

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