Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Alaskan Cruise (Tuesday Glaciers)

After we got done whale watching, James and I went out to the Mendenhall Glacier. There is a great little visitors center there that explained a lot about the glacier. Learning about the beautiful things you see is always a great way to appreciate them a little more.

Notice the green water. There is so much fine silt in the water that it changes to that eerie green.

Close up of a recently calved part of the glacier. The deep blue comes from the compacted ice. It's so dense that there is no air left in ice crystals and therefore reflects a different color than most ice.

Glacial ice. Notice how fractured the crystals look.

Striations left in the rock from the glacier.

Salmon spawning had just begun when we got to Alaska, so in Juneau, we could actually see salmon in the creeks. I wanted to go fishing sooooo badly.

We had to board the ship in the early afternoon so we could sail up the Tracy Arm to see the Sawyer Glacier. The Tracy Arm is about a mile wide and "S" curves all the way to the glacier. It seemed crazy to take the ship down such a narrow arm, but the scenery was so magnificent that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

When we started down the Tracy Arm, James and I found a nice place on an upper deck to pull up a lounge-chair and relax the whole trip. I took my knitting up and thought I'd just enjoy the day relaxing and taking it all in. That totally didn't work. Within an hour every person on the ship had gathered to our spot. So we gave up on the relaxing, found a place near the railing, and enjoyed the scenery while packed like sardines.

Again, notice how green the silt even makes the ocean.

The captain got on his loud speaker and informed us that because the weather was so great, he was able to get closer to the glacier than he's ever been in the five years he's been sailing with Norwegian. He then proceeded to turn the whole ship around on a dime. I don't think the center of the ship moved more than 10 feet as he pivoted the ship in a tight circle.

The rest of our day was spent sailing out of the Tracy Arm and then hitting the open sea on our way to Skagway.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Thanks for all your vacation pictures, Jessie! They are great, and I bet you two had a GREAT time! :)