We were lucky to have a number of fine sunny Alaska summer days, but sometimes Alaska showed us its true nature. Cold harsh winds blowing off the glaciers forced us to take shelter in protected coves. Its days like today, when we think how tough and adventurous John Muir and Stickeen were when they traveled Glacier Bay by canoe and explored this grand glacial wilderness.
The Margarie Glacier (on the left) and the Grand Pacific Glacier (on the right) are a stark contrast. The Margerie's white face actively calves into the bay. While the Grand Pacific is the glacier that carved the majority of the park, it is hard to identify with its dark-covered face.
The Lamplugh Glacier was one of the bluest in park due to the density of ice coming out of the Brady Icefiield. It was not one of the larger glaciers but on a clear day surely impresses--with the large mountain backdrop behind it
We enjoyed 10,000 year old glacier ice in our evening sundowners.
Here the captain moves bergy-bits with his ice-pole to create clear passage for Thor.
Glacier Bay National Park, with its amazing scenery, dramatic glaciers, and spectacular wildlife can only be visited by water. In the west arm of the park alone, there are 5 major glaciers reaching the shoreline---some spilling a large amount of ice into the waterways.
Team Thor photographer, Carolyn Cray from Fort Lauderdale enjoying Alaska summer-time. We appreciate all the support during our many cruises!
Sailing to the Ends of the Earth
Over the last 300 years, the glaciers in the park have grown and receded. When Captain Vancouver sailed past Glacier Bay in 1794, the bay was a 5-mile indentation in a solid ice coastline. By then, the south-moving glaciers had already displaced the native Tlingit people. By 1879, when John Muir visited Glacier Bay, the ice had already retreated 40 miles. Today, the glaciers are 60-70 mile back from the Icy Straight coastline.
The landscape and the wildlife in the park were every bit as spectacular as the glaciers.
The Johns Hopkins Glacier, with its blue ice veins of rock and sediment which it picks up on the way to the sea, was incredibly picturesque. We were lucky we were able to navigate Thor up the face of all the glaciers. This was only possible because of Thor's strongAl plating of 1/2" and 5/8" aluminum but careful navigation was still required.
The park has a lot to offer from grand glaciers to tranquil and quiet anchorages.