June 3rd, 2015 / posted by paularath

 

A bald eagle in flight just off our veranda.

A bald eagle in flight just off our veranda.             Photography by Lisa Hodges

I have always wanted to experience Glacier Bay. My sister Berta, who has done the Alaska cruise many times, says it’s one of her favorite places on earth. It is simply spectacular.

The only way to get to Glacier Bay is by plane or boat. The Crown Princess did a beautiful job of positioning us in and around the bay throughout the day for maximum viewing pleasure.

We totally lucked out with weather. Even the captain said it was a remarkable day. It started out crisp and cool. We bundled up in layers to brave the chill on our verandas. Then it got warmer and warmer and the skies were blue and clear and it was absolutely glorious! No clouds or rain to dull the view of the exquisite glaciers.

A bald eagle on an iceberg so close we felt we could reach out and stroke it.

A bald eagle on an iceberg so close we felt we could reach out and stroke it.

Glacier Bay National Park comprises 3.3 million acres of mountains, glaciers, forests and waterways. We spent nearly an entire day just gazing at glaciers.

Cruising in Glacier Bay enabled us to witness an amazing geologic process: calving. Margerie Glacier in particular treated us, over and over, to this natural geologic phenomenon.

The first sign of Margerie Glacier calving.

The first sign of Margerie Glacier calving.

Margerie Glacier calves before our very eyes.

Margerie Glacier calves before our very eyes.

Calving is when a chunk of the glacier separates from the main glacier and comes crashing down into the bay. I have spoken with other cruisers who could hear the calving but couldn’t see it because the day they were in Glacier Bay was so cloudy or foggy. We saw and heard calving time and time again. It’s a sound we will never forget. The closest I can come to describing it is the sound of nearby thunder, followed by a giant cracking sound and a huge splash.

Trust me, that is an inadequate description.

Mahalo to Lisa Hodges for these fabulous photos!

– Paula Rath

 

 

 

 

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