Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Alaskan Cruise Post 3: Tracys Arm Fjord and Sawyer's Glacier

After a day at sea, and views of whales diving and fishing along the coast we entered Tracy Arm Fjord.  It was carved out a long time ago by a glacier, and pieces of it's history, or rather, it's beginning are at the end of a three hour boat ride up iceberg lined water ways.  It's narrow and deep (over 1,000 feet deep, 2,000 feet high with sheer drops that make this journey possible on such a large ship).  My Mom and I sat on our patio, it was pretty chilly, but long pants, and light coats kept us warm most of the day.  Others enjoyed the views from large windowed walls from other decks. 
 This was the first time I've seen ice bergs, and I spent most of those three hours (six if you count the ride back, and you probably should given the number of photos I took) marveling over these ice bergs, and taking their pictures.  They came in all shapes and sizes, and stages of life as they made their way out into the ocean. 
These represent hundreds of years worth of snow, compacted so tightly that few air bubbles are left, and the molecules are so close together the color blue has trouble passing through it.  The deeper the blue, the tighter those molecules (blue travels at a slower speed than the other colors, so it bounces off and makes it looks like these). 
 We saw bald eagels perched on these ice bergs, along with other birds (more on these guys in another post as well). 
This is a nice view of a piece of the walls gabbing open where the glaciers moved through and scooped out the land before heading to sea.  The color of the water is compliments of these ever melting glaciers.
Seals were on the ice bergs with their pups throughout the three hour trip down the fjord.  It was the end of pupping season.  This is a safe place for seals to have their babies, away from whales, and on the ice bergs they are protected from the bears and wolves on the shore as well.  Mom feeds these guys for a month, fattens them up...and leaves them to fend for themself.  About have of them make it.  I caught one hopping on it's float....
Waterfalls where everywhere from melting snow on the moutain tops (where sheeps lived, but I never saw any, other people did, I guess I should have looked up instead of down at all those ice bergs). 
 And at the end, one of two glaciers-Sawyer's Glacier, the source of all that ice breaking off and floating out into the fjord. 
200 feet high, 900 feet deep (we couldn't get too close b/c the ice below can also break off and pop up close to the ships). 
 Another ship entered as we were leaving, and it gave a great perspective on how deep those canyon walls were all the way up, as well as the pile of ice that met and formed this glacier.
 I love this place. 

4 comments:

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Beautiful, Christy! I love the seal :)

Jennifurla said...

Oh wow, love the coloring.

Cate from Random Crafty Georgia Girl said...

My parents went on an Alaskan cruise last year. They went to that smae place. They said they got within 1/8 of a mile from the glacier. The captain of the excursion boat said that was the closest they have ever gotten to it.

tt.scraps said...

Beautify!!! And what a cute seal! Didn't know thatbabout blue...neato!