Yesterday we were in Juneau, where we saw this postcard. Today we’re going to visit a real glacier.
You can see we’re north of the starred cities, heading towards that big cut in the coastline. (You can also see in this screenshot that there’s no cellular service; all these locations are plotted via GPS.) That we’re being shown our speed isn’t funny, but note that our balcony is 27 meters above mean sea level.
The forward viewing area of the ship is packed solid hours before we’re to enter the inlet. Some of these people have dreamed of seeing an Alaskan glacier all their lives. This is a bucket-list day. Nobody is going to get between them and their glacier. (Snark aside, the group in the foreground were very hospitable, telling us stories about how long they’d planned this trip. It reminded me of nothing more than astronomer friends planning a trip to the other side of the world for an eclipse a decade hence.)
Rather than being in a hot, stuffy room, being jostled by hordes and trying to take photos through thick glass, we retreat to our huge balcony for the occasion, inviting several groups to visit with us during the day.
Soon the first large chunks of ice float by, followed by the inevitable Titanic jokes.
Here’s a new color on the map: white. We head up Disenchantment Bay, with Haenke Island before us, Hubbard right behind.
Some of the ice floes look like marble that’s broken off a Grecian temple.
Other floes are deep translucent blues, colors with which I’m unfamiliar, except in the waters around Bora Bora. Wow, talk about opposites!
The glacier and ice fields are big. This shows 180° of our view; everywhere you look, glacier and floating ice. And cold.
360° photosphere from our balcony.
Another 360° photosphere from our balcony.
After a while, we decide to get into our own photos.
I bundle Carmella in more wool and then capture the chilly moment. For a girl who’s happier in the hot than the cold, she’s really spent an amazing time out in the open. She ate up every moment of today.
We just can’t get enough of this environment. I didn’t expect to be so captivated by the alien colors and shapes.
I don’t know why I wouldn’t be impressed. I was the last time: I’ve skied the great Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) glacier on the northern slopes of the Mont Blanc massif, in the French Alps. That was the same eerie shade of blue; both similar and different than this watery scene. Both deeply awe-inspiring.
“Seals? Yes, please!”
As we’re heading out, the Oosterdam goes in for her turn. There’s lots of waving between the passengers on the sister ships.
Dress-up time! Supper!
“Please, allow me to drizzle a bit of cream into your soup…”
Alaskan King crab legs.
Medallion of steak with several sauces.
Even after supper we aren’t satisfied with a day on the cold Alaskan water: we head back out to the balcony, wrap up the Carmella, and enjoy the setting sun and chilling breezes.
The last 360° photosphere of the day, I promise.
Next stop: Ketchikan.