Glacier Bay

If you’re ever lucky enough to go on a cruise to Alaska and you see Glacier Bay as one of the ports, it’s not really a port.  The ship docks in Glacier Bay, picks up a couple of rangers for the day, and then sails slowly around the bay so that passengers can talk to the rangers & enjoy the sights.  We got out the binoculars, bundled up, and hung out in the solarium most of the day, which was warm enough with a light jacket or sweatshirt.  We only went outside on deck when we saw something we thought would be worth photographing because it was colder today than yesterday and there was a light rain that proved to be relentless.  There were a lot of things I wanted to photograph and share, but I knew a lot of them wouldn’t really be captured that well with the gray, cloudy conditions we had.  Here are a few of the images of the glaciers and general scenery we took over the course of the day.

You’ll see that the ice is blue in certain areas of the glacier in the photograph below.  The blue color is due to the ice crystals that form under extreme pressure from the weight of the snow that creates the glacier.  These crystals absorb all wavelengths but the blue spectrum, hence the blue color.

We weren’t alone in Glacier Bay.  It’s a very popular spot for cruise ships that travel up this way.  You can see a Holland America cruise ship in the photo below.  The ship also gives you some indication of the massive scale of the surrounding mountains.  The scenery is beautiful; it’s rugged, breathtaking, and unforgiving at the same time.  Just viewing the surroundings can make a person feel quite small and insignificant.  It’s like looking up at a vast clear sky full of stars at night – I get the same feeling here.

The kids got bored with the viewing and enjoyed drawing and goofing around with the binoculars in the solarium & being typical siblings by annoying one another from time to time.  Kyle kept staring at Kayla through the binoculars, so finally she got him back by putting a notebook on top of the binoculars when he least expected it.