Today we took a 4 1/2 hr cruise on Prince William Sound.
If I said OMG those Glaciers were just sooooo awesome would I sound
too much like a "valley girl"?
Come-on Lindsay - the valley is in your neck of the woods...
I don't know how to describe today without starting to squeal like a tini bobber
at a Justin Bieber Concert.
It started out with our first sighting of a Bald Eagle.
This pix was not the best since I had to move quickly - but if you zoom in....
(PS - don't forget you can click on the photos to see a larger sized image.)
Our cruise today was another coupon out of the tour saver book.
Ka-Ching.... (sound of cash register) another $119 Saved.
Two for one cruise and an all you can eat Salmon and Prime Rib Buffet to boot!
15 Minutes after departing the dock, and getting thru the prerequisite safety
announcements, it was time to eat, while we cruised up the sound headed
towards Blackstone Bay.
All around us was beauty and majesty beyond words.
Our interactive map (top right "Where are we today") shows our cruise out of
Whittier and into Blackstone Bay on PW Sound.
Click on it to see our route today.
Since heading north out of Montana, if there is one thing that we have noticed.
it is the absolute abundance of water everywhere.
Alaska is no different, here the streams flow everywhere.
Coursing down the mountainsides in hundreds...
if not thousands of waterfalls.
The sea birds thrive in this habitat.
About 1/2 into our voyage we began to see the main event.
Up close to the Beloit Glacier you can see Kayaks below the 500' face.
Up close with the Kayaks.
Here (left side) you can see a small amount of ice "calving" from the face.
A closer shot of the calving.
More waterfalls. The snowmelt runs clear.
The glacier melt is silted due to the fact that the Glacier is carving
and pulverizing the rock as it slowly moves.
For perspective - a tour boat below the face of the Blackstone Glacier.
At the base of the Glaciers, the Captain would shut off the engines and give us the
opportunity to hear the Glacier. That was an amazing. These
massive mountains of ice... moving mountains as they progress... groan under their
own force. The sound is as if the very earth is speaking. It is a deep sound that you not
only hear... but feel as well.
Moving up the bay you can see the massive ice cap - thousands of feet thick.
It is this ice cap that pushes down on the glaciers.
Again... more streams coursing down the mountains at every turn.
They were so beautiful to watch with the binoculars.
Another longer range shot of the glaciers.
Later, we enjoyed another treat...
A raft of Sea Otters.
(or Sea Doodles)
The Sea Otters are unique in that they do not have the thick layers of blubber like
other marine mammals - rather relying on their fur to keep them warm in these
frigid waters. The Sea Otters spend their entire life in the sea... eating, sleeping, playing.
Approaching the end of our cruise in Whittier.
Our campground is just behind the dark "V" in the middle of the picture, below the Glacier.
For my sailing buddies.... this is some pretty - but cold cursing grounds.
The weather can change on a dime... it is changing right now as I write..
The "Williwaw" is the name for a fierce polar sea storm or wind that blows from
the mountains... it is also the name of our campground and the Williwaw is
starting to kick up tonight.
Below - it looked like a 25' or so day sailor like an O'Day.
We took over 500 photos today, and I just don't have the steam left to try
and pick the best so I just grabbed a handful to pass along.
I hope that you enjoy but....
I can't relate how poorly these photo convey the actual scenery.
As I looked thru the lens I kept thinking "this just can't be captured"
At least not by me.
Its hard to describe this place.
The magnificent beauty envelops you here.
It towers over and engulfs you.
It gets inside your head and explodes.
You see it... you smell it... you feel it.
Its a big place... in all ways.