Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours
sabotlours

Alaska Travelogue--Days 6 & 7

These 2 days were billed on the ship's itinerary as "scenic cruising." Basically we sailed along into some of Alaska's awesome bays, harbors, and fjords. I knew we were in for a treat when I stepped out onto the balcony early in the morning to do a weather check. Just as I opened the door I heard a large "whoosh." I stared out at the ocean when a large spout of water appeared about 100' feet away. A black shape soon appeared and disappeared. Cool! I had just seen a whale! There were lots of whale sightings that day. There was a National Park guide on board to tell us all about the wonders of Glacier Bay National Park. She drove me nuts, however, because she was up in the bridge with a commanding view of the ocean all around. She would "ooo" and "ahh" about all of the whales she was seeing, but if you were not looking at exactly the right place at the right time, all you would end up seeing is a wave where the whale was a few seconds ago. We were very fortunate to see the park because Kitty later read that only 2 cruise ships a day are allowed into the bay.

For me the best part of the park were the glaciers which seemed to drip from every high point. The park is famous for its tidewater glaciers; glaciers that empty out into the ocean and calve off chunks of ice to form icebergs.

The weather wasn't great, but it wasn't awful. It got mighty cold and damp out on the bridge deck, so the preferred method of watching the scenery was to sit out on the balcony with the door to the room wide open and the heat cranked up. That worked very well. At one point I noticed someone setting up a large video camera in the bridge just above us. I knew they were constantly shooting video for a souvenir dvd, so I decided to give them a show. I quickly put on Nevada's head and paws and made an instant partial. I went back outside and saw the camera immediately point at me. I gave a nice friendly wave. There were dozens of people out on their balconies also enjoying the show. I started to see lots of flashes and bursts of laughter. My mom told me that the next day they were showing clips from the dvd on the ship's t.v. station and she saw me. *lol*

The glaciers were nothing short of amazing. We parked ourselves just offshore from this massive ice face. The still air was occasionally punctuated by loud cracks that sounded like either thunder or gunshots. Frequently those were followed by massive chunks of ice falling from the glacier into the bay below. I managed to catch at least one big break on film.

By the afternoon we had made our way out of the bay and out into the Gulf of Alaska. There was another storm brewing, and the captain told us we would be in for a bumpy night. Boy! He wasn't kidding! I didn't get much sleep that night. I tried to get into the rolling motion, but I just couldn't. As soon as I got into a nice comfy position, we would roll and I would slide into an uncomfortable position. All night it was wash, rinse, repeat. By the late morning we finally made it into Prince William Sound which calmed things down. To pass the time a few of us attended a cooking demonstration on how to prepare salmon. By late afternoon we had reached College Fjord which, like Glacier Bay, had glaciers in every direction. I tried to stay near the bow of the ship to enjoy the sights, but the cold wind coming off of all that ice made it a miserable experience. Back to the room we went to enjoy the view with heat and shelter from the wind. It was then a very mellow sail back to Whittier where we would be leaving the ship the next morning.

PICS!
Ice Ice Baby



Glacier


Another glacier


Yet another glacier. Note the wonderful weather.


A harbor seal chillin' on the ice


Nevada as a partial


Scritchwuff as a partial


One of my favorite pics


Note the ice spire in the front...Going


Going...


Gone!


Sea lions hangin' out near the entrance to the Gulf of Alaska
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