Fjords & Glaciers

12/31/12

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We travelled into two fjords that offered spectacular views of the glaciers reaching the sea. Icebergs, "calved" from the glaciers, floated in the turquoise waters. Eagles soared overhead, while sea otters, seals and various seabirds swam among or rested on the icebergs.

The coastal area is often bathed in a light mist that amplifies the dramatic angles and colors.

Tracy Arm Fjord weaves through the Tongass National Forest. The shoreline is spotted with waterfalls created by melting snowcaps and trees sprouting at odd angles from rocky outcroppings

Glacier Bay is a protected area into which few ships can travel. We were escorted by a Park's ship pilot while a park ranger and a Tlinglit native provided narration about the natural history.

(Map of Glacier Bay National Park from www.merleandmark.com)

The small dark specks in the foreground are kayakers. They are about one mile away from the glacier face behind them, which is is over 250 feet high.

Glaciers appear blue in color - caused by a unique crystalline structure that absorbs and reflects light.

Glacier Bay is rich with wildlife including whales, sea lions, porpoises, sea otters and seals. 

Glacier Bay is covered with 1,375 square miles (3,560 km2) of glaciers. There are over 50 named glaciers including Muir, Lamplugh, John Hopkins and Margerie.

A contest was held among the cruise ship passengers to see who was courageous enough to enter the swimming pool while breezes blew off the glaciers.
 

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