Hey, Glacier Bay!
If you have been following my posts, you know that I saw a glacier before but in the actual time line I say Glacier Bay National Park first! Glaciers were one of the main things I wanted to see while I was up in Alaska.
The unique thing is we entered this National Park right from our ship. The Volendam was specifically designed to go places like this and do 360’s in the water for all to view everything and to be able to get back out. As we entered the Glacier Bay the scenery was breath taking. Most of my pictures today are of Ice so I apologies for not showing you the rest. You know where to go to see them! (Facebook). The reason for my visit was to see glaciers. Our first pass through it was raining, cloudy, windy and about 40 degrees with a lower wind chill even. Sounds like a terrible combo but I was at the Bow of the boat (the front) soaking it all in and freezing my butt off! My phones camera was running picture after picture for hours! Even with all this bad weather, the scenery we saw was stunning.
The 2nd time we came through was a real treat and labeled the best day of the season! I stepped outside to see the scenery it was sunny and it was still cold. I could not believe it. Everything I saw just a week ago was completely different. It was like a whole other realm of amazingness to see Glacier Bay this day. The first time we sat at Margery Glacier for about an hour. This Glacier was about a mile wide, 100ft above the water and 100th below. Our ship got close enough to this glacier where you could feel like you could reach out and touch it. It was just all so amazing! Now this time around we were leaving the Glacier earlier than normal, but it turned out they took us to see 3 more glaciers that day as well! The Day was made and my mind blown!
With my pictures, you will see a variation. You will see the same thing on a crappy weather day and then a sunny day! You will certainly be able to see the beauty in both times!
Now that you finally were able to see some pictures, I can tell you a little more. As we get closer to the Glaciers, the water is littered with ice. Too small to be called icebergs; these little pieces are actually called bergy bits and growlers! The ship was designed to just plow right through these smaller pieces! Titanic Was a smaller ship over all, however it was longer but weaker! Very few ships are allowed up here because of the size of ships today. Even though the ms Volendam was designed to travel Alaska, we still had to be aware of larger pieces of ice, or icebergs! The picture below shows the bergy bits and an actually Iceberg. Anything longer then 16ft is considered an iceberg!
(The bigger piece is definitely an Iceberg, other others are just bergy bits)
Traveling through Glacier Bay was not all ice and mountains. We saw a plethora of birds in a huge nesting area and we saw whales and sea otters as well. Glacier Bay was where I saw my first Humpback Whale breech clear out of the water into the air and back down what a site to see! Every time we entered Glacier Bay, we had to pick up rangers and guides to help us navigate the bay and get through safely. One more thing I want to show you is something called Calving. It is where the ice breaks off the glacier and falls right in the water. We sat and listen to the glacier each time in silence. You can hear the ice come alive! The ice was cracking everywhere and when large pieces of ice came down it sounds like a building being demolished. It was an amazing site to see and hear; I did at least get to catch some of the splashes in pictures. In the picture you are looking at is a splash that is at least 20-30ft wide if not more.
Next and final stop on our Alaska tour is Katchikan. Tackle quite a bit of firsts and other amazing opportunities here!