Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Alaska Glacier Cruise

The Captain snugged the ship right alongside the Mendenhall Glacier. Luckily, we were on the correct side of the ship to fully enjoy the view from our balcony stateroom.

My wife shivered from the cold (she is very cold natured) but to me, it was light jacket weather on this clear, sunny July day. As the ship slipped slowly sideways, we could hear the crack of the ice as it moved, imperceptibly toward the water. The "crack" sounded like a low caliber gunshot. I picked up my video camera and as I panned the beautiful blue ice formation, I recorded my comment, "I sure hope that I get to photograph at least one calving". Before we left the area I had seen and taken video footage of many of each of the three types of calving that we had learned about in the lectures the previous days. Spectacular! Alaska is a destination not to be missed. One of the many sights to see includes glacier cruising. Many times you will be at the confluence of several ice flows so that you have a great view of a glacier no matter which side of the ship you are viewing from.

Almost every Alaska cruise includes glacier viewing. Not only can you enjoy them from the ship, you can take a float plane over them, perhaps landing at a fishing camp for a delicious freshly prepared salmon lunch, cooked over an alder wood fire. For the more adventurous, you can take a helicopter to get up close and personal, landing on the face of the glacier and hiking over it's surface. Of course, special shoes and cold weather gear are provided.

Glaciers are throw-backs from the Ice Age. They carve fjords, U shaped furrows in the rock beds. The surface ice is blue and the deeper layers are dirty, picking up the dirt and debris from the rock and ground below. Viewing them close, hearing their sounds, watching them calve and observing the various shades of blue in the clear ice is one of the many exciting things that makes Alaska Glacier Cruises a not-to-be-missed experience. Schedule yours today!

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