Alaskan Cruise: Glacier Bay

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Glacier Bay is a step back into complete solitude ready for viewing the untouched nature.  As you cruise into the bay area, one of the first things you see are the hanging glaciers. These are the round areas up in the mountains. They hang over the sides of the mountain with no hopes of reaching the shore.  The trip into the bay is silent. On occasion, you hear a bird fly overhead, or the splash of a bird landing on the sea to feed, but for the most part, it is gliding silently, surrounded by the most amazingly large snow capped mountains. The water changes as you approach the glaciers, it becomes a gray blue and you can tell that it is absolutely freezing below the surface.

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As you look back you can see secret glaciers peeking out to watch you go.  They hide behind the peaks and slide down to the waterfront in quiet majesty.  These pictures are taken in August yet,  the snow and ice completely  packed firmly in place ever marching to the bay. The air is crisp and the silence is astounding.

After hours of skimming across the uniquely colored water, you come to the first glacier, one you have to look back to see. From that moment on the glaciers are stacked solidly against the base of the mountains. Crystal blue water, frozen in place for millennia.

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Approaching Margerie Glacier the ship approaches slowly sharing just how huge this ice mass is.  We reach the edge of the passage and there on the left is this massive wall of ice, dropping piece by piece, with a crack that sounds like a gunshot, into the water below. Our able captain circles the large ship in circles allowing for viewing from every angle. It was a moment Mother Nature and Captain Bart Vaartjes worked together to pull off the most amazing viewing opportunity. They succeeded grandly!

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Of course, there were the teenagers that climbed onto the railing of the ship as we spun in place reenacting the Titanic scenes until security made them behave.  Who didn’t see that one coming?

After the hour to ninety minutes strolling outside on the main deck of the MS Westerdam,  watching the ice crack, drop into the water, and basically just enjoying the nature in action,  we maneuvered around and were prepared to move on to the next phase of our Glacier Bay adventure.,John’s Hopkins Glacier.

Before we leave Margerie Glacier, we are besieged by Icebergs!  Aren’t they adorable?  Not the kind that doomed the great ship Titanic, but big enough to write home about, and to take photographs to mark the sighting.

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Backtracking a bit before turning off into a branch of the sea, we began to see the telltale signs of an upcoming glacier.IMG_1964

Icy water and small icebergs.  Then ahead of us looms Johns Hopkins Glacier. Larger than life!

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While we were here, we had a wonderful presentation by an interpreter, a local native woman that shared with us the history of her people. It was a wonderful way to see this natural beauty and think of it as unspoiled and much beloved by the Tlingit tribe. It was the perfect opportunity to learn about a culture, that I had not known anything about before that day.

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Exiting the way we entered gave is a birds eye view of all the small glaciers that line the passage

Leaving the park, you can see the changes in the water color .

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Goodbye to Glacier Bay, next stop Sitka, Alaska.

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