Thursday, July 18, 2013

First day out on our Alaska cruise


Last week, I told you that we started our Alaska vacation in Anchorage, on the Solstice.  This is as huge big deal, and the light was incredible, just like everyone says.  The sun only went "down" for a few hours, but it never got dark, just kind of twilighty.  We were able to walk around a bit before being shuffled off to meet the cruise ship in Whittier Alaska, just a bit to the south.  Mike pointed out the little white building to me, which is the starting point of the Iditarod!


Then it was off to Whittier, and to board the Sapphire Princess cruise ship.  The shot above is just a little stop that we made, waiting for the tunnel traffic (one way) to start flowing in our direction.








We launched, and I couldn't restrain myself from just taking shot after shot after shot after shot.  As the light changed and clouds came and went, I couldn't resist "just one more shot."




The next day, the water started to be filled with little chunks of ice, mini-icebergs if you like.  We were approaching the Hubbard Glacier, but I didn't know that because I hadn't paid any attention at all to the itinerary before we left for the trip.



The Hubbard Glacier is much bigger than any picture from a distance can show, and unfortunately they had to be from a distance since the water around it was clogged with so much ice.  We didn't need to reenact scenes from the Titanic!  Love that blue color the ice gets when all the air bubbles have been compressed right out of it.



Here's a decent shot of it as we pulled away, but you still can't really get a sense of scale.


Like I said, I love that blue color!


At a certain distance (not sure exactly how far) the water clears again from the icebergs.  I must have missed the lesson in school when we learned about the ecological importance of the glaciers.  Besides carving up the land, which is a feat not to be sneezed at, they are FRESH water, so the constant "calving" into the water of broken off pieces churns up the sediment and mixes with the saltwater to create a very different environment.  Just outside these areas tend to be flush with marine mammals.

Copyright 2013 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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