Alaska – Glacier Bay

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.

View in Glacier Bay
View in Glacier Bay

There were several sea otters that swam up near the ship.

Sea Otter
Sea Otter

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.

Glacial Moraine
Glacial Moraine

More beautiful views as we head deeper into the bay.

 

Grand Pacific Glacier

Did I mention that it was cold?

Mark and Rose
Mark and Rose

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.

Grand Pacific Glacier
Grand Pacific Glacier

 

Grand Pacific Glacier
Grand Pacific Glacier

 

Sea Otter
Sea Otter

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.

Gull on Ice in Silty Water
Gull on Ice in Silty Water

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.

John Hopkins Glacier
John Hopkins Glacier

 

John Hopkins Glacier
John Hopkins Glacier

 

John Hopkins Glacier
John Hopkins Glacier

 

As we were leaving the bay, we saw these sea lions, too many to count.  Click on the image to enlarge the view.

Sea Lions
Sea Lions

 

Sea Lions
Sea Lions

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.

Mark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.