Posted tagged ‘Glacier Bay’

Glaciers In The Mist

October 2, 2012

I find glaciers endlessly fascinating, and I hope you do too. The six hours we spent in Glacier Bay National Park thrilled me to the core, that core being swaddled in fleece pants topped with corduroy pants, wool socks and boots, fleece jacket, waterproof jacket, my iconic red Icelandic wool hat, and gloves. Yes, glaciers are cold, and I was determined not to turn as blue as they are while standing out on the bow for hours as we cruised. I’ll let the ice speak for itself, and you’ll see what I mean.

Some people on board saw a humpback whale in the bay, but I saw only this flock of birds

and this pair of harbor seals, looking cozy and comfy on their icy perch.

We didn’t see any actual calving of the glaciers, but the gorgeous Margerie Glacier, which is is nearly a mile wide and about 13 miles long, obliged us with some impressive ice falls, accompanied by loud cracking, thunderous rumbling,

gigantic splashing,

and leaving mounds of frozen debris in the water.

Glaciers push a lot of dirt around as they advance and recede,

and glacial moraine marked the fallen ice, making it look dirty in an interesting way,

and chunks both small

and large floated everywhere near the feet of the glaciers.

As we began to make our way back out of Glacier Bay the sun broke through, and waterfalls were running freely.

The sun made the ice glow even more impossibly blue,

and revealed the turning colors of autumn. This was the last good weather we were to see on our cruise, but it more than made up for the rest of the trip.

Glacier Bay is a magical place, and a vanishing place, as climate change causes the glaciers to recede. Go while you can.