Thursday, November 23, 2017

Alaskan Waters

Glacier Bay, Glacier, Glacier Calving, Lumiere and Lens, Lumiere Lens, Glaciers
Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Hello from sunny and 77° F California!  It's almost December and it's hot enough to go swimming out here.  It's Thanksgiving today and we've got the oven on to cook a 27 lb turkey in a house with no air conditioning.  Since it doesn't appear I'll have cold any time soon, I'm sharing these photos of Alaskan waters and glaciers from my trip this past June.  Yes, yes, definitely long delayed!  However, I'm sitting here in a tank top and shorts, so I'd really rather reminiscence about colder places.

We took a boat (the Baranof Wind) through Glacier Bay and went right up to the border of the Canada, where the Grand Pacific Glacier is situated.  As global warming is a thing and climate change is real, we were greeted by bare earth with a completely melted glacier.  The waters by the glaciers were dotted with small icebergs from the calving glaciers, which is when ice cracks and falls off.  In fact, Margerie Glacier (shown above) was actively calving!  A crew member fished an iceberg out from the bay for us to touch.  It was very smooth, very cold, and definitely smaller than the one that took out the Titanic.

Grand Pacific Glacier
On board the Baranof Wind.

 South Marble Island, a wildife hotspot (top).  Sea lions lounge on the rocks (bottom). 


We passed South Marble Island during our boat ride.  The island is considered a wild life hotspot.  There were sea otters, sea lions, puffins, and gulls.  There was also a humpback whale swimming in the waters.  Occasionally, he would surface to spout and dive back under, flipping his tale above the water.  Look at the beautiful color of the sea lion coats!  They were certainly more vibrant than our California sea lions. 

Islands recovering after glacial retreat are covered in moss, lichen, and young trees.
Glacier Bay

We passed islands that were covered with moss, lichen, and young trees.  The growth of lichen helps prepare the earth for the forest to grow as the land eventually recovers after glacial retreat.  As we traveled North towards the glacier heavy, thick trees gave way to more moss.  Eventually, we saw more rock than green.  When we finally reached the Canadian/Alaskan boarder, the waters were smooth like glass, with small ripples on the surface.  The air was cold, crisp, and clean.  Heaven is a place on Earth and it was these calm, beautiful waters.