Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bon Voyage! Day 4 - Glacier Bay

Remember I warned you about all the landscape pics? Here they come!

Our next day was another Day at Sea, however this one was special because we'd be going into Glacier Bay National Park into the inside passage waterway and stopping next to a couple tidewater glaciers (glaciers that go to the edge of the water, they have 9 in total in the park). We would go and stop next to Margerie Glacier for half an hour, then they would slowly pivot the ship in place so the folks on the other rail side could enjoy it for half an hour (less crowding at the rails, theoretically). Next to the dazzling white-blue of Margerie Glacier, the dull dirt-covered Grand Pacific Glacier suffers by comparison (you'll see, keep reading!)

The day turned out to be utterly beautiful. More sun, barely a cloud in the dazzling blue sky. A few folks on deck told me they saw a mama whale and her baby near the ship in the wee hours of the morning about 6:30am, but we didn't get on deck til about 9 am so we missed them.

The cruise lines boated over a couple park rangers to stand on the bow and point out stuff and basically talktalktalktalktalk giving us occasional education and continual annoyance.

Heading into the inside passage:

Beautiful mountains.. they're everywhere!

oohhh.. pretty.. zoom time!

John Hopkins and Gilman Glaciers, they are slowly merging. This is the only advancing glacier in the park.

Zoomed out:

It looks like the cloud got stuck on the mountain top

The ship makes a visually pleasing wake. We were moving *very* slowly as we inched into the passage.

The water really was this weird color, kind of a dull aquamarine color. It was actually a thick layer of silt, then salt water, then fresh water.

The water was so still even with our slight movement it was like glass.

As we were going the Rangers pointed out a brown bear on shore, it took forever to find it by binoculars and it was a tiny little brown buff ball on the shore. Another forced reminder how very big the landscape was.

On the right is Grand Pacific Glacier in all it's dirty splendour, you can just see a peek of Margerie Glacier on the left.

Almost impossible to see, but there's actually a sailboat to the right of center just below the shoreline. It looked itty bitty next to everything.

A couple bald eagles chill out on a floating glacier hunk:

Even going slowly, our ship stirred up the top layer of silt floating on the water. The little sea terns loved to swoop down and fish for stuff we'd bring to the surface.

Poor glacier gets a bad rap for being so butt-ugly, but when you're neighbors with this:

it's understandable. Margerie Glacier

There were all kinds of pieces that seemed so precariously attached and they looked like they could fall any moment. It's the only time I've ever wanted to have one of those horribly loud annoying sports horns (NO not a vuvvuzawhatsiwhosit) just to see if they would fall. We did see a couple smaller chunks fall (like.. car-sized), they go KASPLOOSH! and the sound is like thunder and a huge splash wave sprays out. We also saw a few huge black chunks suddenly POP up next to the wall because they had broken off from underwater probably from our turbulence. They were easily the size of several cars each. I've heard that weird ice cracking sound in movies that almost sounds like a metal wire snapped in an echo chamber when ice is cracking deep down, and here we got to hear it several times and it's REALLY creepy in real life.

Heading back out of the passage:

Note: It took almost an act of God to get either kid to stay out on deck long enough to see the glaciers. Megan wanted to go back to her room in the pool (harhar) and Adam wanted to go back to hanging out with the other teens in the Loft. Geesh.

Time to get ready for dinner in the dining room!

*sniff* my babies are growing up. Adam looks pained in his attempt to smile.

Okay slightly better.

Get the impression we did a lot of waiting around til it was our reservation time for dinner and everyone showed up? You're right! Because the kids were IMPATIENT so we always ended up getting there too early. Not because they were hungry, but because they wanted to be ANYWHERE ELSE. Ha! Poor children forced to interact with their family and eat fine cuisine. *rolls eyes*

Matt is the master silverware stacker. He has way more patience than Megan.

It's Kim's 29th (again) birthday! Time to embarrass her by having the crew come over and sing for her!

Smile, Birthday Girl!

After another interesting dinner we headed back to our room (seriously how many obscure fancy dishes can they make? Thank goodness they had a kids menu with stuff like hot dogs and french fries megan could order, plus you could always order steak, which she did).

Aww look, the towel animal fairy visited again!


Sunset at sea:

Thus ends Day 4!

1 comment:

  1. What Del fails to mention is that "sunset" was at 10:45pm. And it didn't go much further then that. It was AMAZING.