1. We were the first cruise ship to sail into Glacier Bay this season and the day was picture-perfect. As we entered the 65 mile long bay we could see the rounded top of 15,300 ft Mt. Fairweather in the distance.
2. There are several glaciers here – some advancing, some retreating. This is Reid Glacier.
3. We approached our destination – the long, low gray mass in the distance is the Grand Pacific Glacier and to the left of that is Marjorie Glacier. We were up on the top of the ship, the 13th deck.
4. It was impossible to stop taking pictures – just look at that reflection! This wilderness is all protected – part of a UNESCO World Heritage area that is 25 million acres!
5, 6, 7. The rocks and dirt ground up by the moving ice mass accounts for the gray / black color. When ice breaks off and falls into the water (calving) the blue color is revealed. Marjorie Glacier is 350 feet high and a mile wide.
8. We sailed away late in the day, dropping off our two ranger guides and getting a good look at more Steller Sea Lions basking in the sun.
9. We stayed at the railing hoping for some whale sightings. We were rewarded- there is one tail waving good-bye….
10. …..and there a glimpse of a distant spout as we sailed out of Icy Strait.