Friday, June 02, 2017

Alaskan Cruise: Day 9--Glacier Bay and Cruising

Early in the day, the Radiance of the Seas sailed into Glacier Bay and approached Hubbard Glacier. This 76 mile long glacier begins in the Yukon and advances to this point on the Alaskan coast. It is the longest and most active of the tidewater glaciers in Alaska. And advances it does as snow upstream in the Yukon accumulates to form new ice and push the tongue of the glacier forward out in to the bay. (As mentioned earlier, no one brought up global warming/climate change when talking about this particular glacier.)

The approach to Hubbard Glacier was a bit, well, eerie,

There were plenty of "berglets" floating in the area.

Some were quite dark and looked like rocks.

Banding like this happens when volcanic ash or dust from the air settles on the snow/ice as the glacier forms.

We were still about a mile away from the 600 foot high wall of ice but could  hear it grumbling and rumbling.

While we heard lots of grumbling and saw a few small calving events, we didn’t get to witness any large chunks of ice falling into the bay.

Click to enlarge and look in the center of this photo. There's a bit of an avalanche of ice falling into the sea.
Members of the crew were dispatched to fetch some ice which was put on display in the Centrum.

The captain brought the ship as close to the glacier as he deemed safe before we turned around and sailed back out to sea with our destination Seward, Alaska.

Our closest approach was 3/4 of a mile. And it still looked huge!

That afternoon we were all supposed to go to the Schooner bar to play trivia again. Today’s topic: How well do you know Alaska? I was the only one there. (Terry and Vicky were still getting pedicures in the spa and Brian must have been napping with George.) I did okay tying for first with 23 out of a possible 26 points. I got everything right but could only name three of the six whales found in Alaska’s waters. (Missed the Minke, Right and Grey whales. Don’t know how I forgot them!) Missed the tie-breaker question that dealt with the height of Mount Denali by going way too tall.

Terry got a pedicure! First time ever.

After dinner we retired to the Colony Club to enjoy drinks while looking over the fan tail of the ship. And while doing that, we spotted a couple of humpback whales of the starboard stern.

Our trip was almost over as we sailed to our final port: Seward.

No comments: