The morning after leaving Skagway, we headed into Glacier Bay National Park. We picked up a ranger at the entrance of the bay who provided narration for our day in the bay, nearly a full day. We sailed deep into the bay to see two large glaciers, The Grand Pacific Glacier and The Johns Hopkins Glacier. However, there were many other smaller glaciers, mountains, and wild life to see along the way. Unfortunately, I do not know the names of all these glaciers.
Please note, you can click on any image to see details at a larger scale.
There were several sea otters that swam up near the ship.
This glacier is hidden behind the mountain and the melting water is making its way to the bay. The gravel seen here has been deposited by the glacier.
More beautiful views as we head deeper into the bay.
Did I mention that it was cold?
This is another, much smaller, tour boat. They only let two cruise ships the size of ours into Glacier Bay each day.
We finally made it to Grand Pacific Glacier. We spent about an hour parked in front of this glacier with the ship slowly turning so everyone on board would have a good view of the glacier. There were several of us on the front, then back, of the ship in the open to get the best views.
There were several chunks of floating ice in the bay. Note the silt in the water. This is caused by the glaciers. The glaciers grind the rock in its path to a very fine silt and deposit it in the bay. The silt will eventually settle out, but remains suspended in the water for a long time. There are no fish in this area due to the silt.
This is another example of glacial moraine, the gravel, rocky deposit from the end of the glacier.
We found some sea lions on a large chunk of ice. These are not technically icebergs. An iceberg is defined as a chunk of freshwater ice that has broken off a glacier or ice shelf that is at least 15 meters (about 50 feet) long.
There were a number of recreational and fishing boats in the bay.
We are several miles away from John Hopkins Glacier. We were not allowed to travel up the narrow bay to this glacier.
As we were leaving the bay, we saw these sea lions, too many to count. Click on the image to enlarge the view.
It was a beautiful trip into Glacier Bay. The weather was mostly cooperative with bouts of wind and cold. Tomorrow is a day at sea ending at College Fjord for more glaciers.