Glaciers and Ice

After our adventures in the only two towns with a road that actually goes somewhere, we headed back to Juneau for a quick overnight – we needed some plumbing parts, and we were able to hop on the bus, walk a bit, and get what we needed without too much fuss.  From there we headed to new territory south of Juneau – Tracy Arm, which is a fjord with a 90 degree turn and two glaciers at its head.  As we got closer, we started seeing good-sized bergy bits in the water, and we had to cross a bar that was created by the glacier sometime in the distant past, when it was more than 50 miles longer.  Some of the bigger bergy bits run aground on the shallow bar, and we were amazed at how very blue they were.20140808 543 grounded bergy bits tracy arm psrThe trip up Tracy Arm is just beautiful, though it’s easy to get too focused on the glaciers up at the end.  All along the way there are waterfalls and sheer walls, and we loved investigating them, up close and personal.20140814 629 adventures bow waterfall psr20140804 192 tracy arm waterfall psrThe weather wasn’t always the nicest, but even some drizzle and fog made the landscape look beautiful.20140814 634 misty waterfall psrAlong the sides of the fjord we sometimes saw smaller valleys with the classic “U” shape that indicates it was carved by a glacier.20140804 005 tracy arm classic glacier valley psrThe highlight at the far end of the fjord were the two glaciers – Sawyer and South Sawyer.  We headed up to see the smaller north Sawyer glacier first, and were excited to see all the blue ice, even on a dreary day.20140804 031 n sawyer glacier blue ice psrThe view of the South Sawyer glacier was a bit more dramatic – it was visible at a greater distance.20140804 063 south sawyer over bow psrNot only was this glacier bigger and more beautiful, it played host to a large population of seals hanging out on the ice calved from the glacier.20140804 246 seals at glacier psrWhat’s more interesting – the glacier or the seals??  It’s a tough call, but we dropped a kayak in the water so I could get closer to them while Jim kept ADVENTURES away from the biggest bergy bits.20140804 107 paddling with bergs psr20140804 097 adventures at s sawyer glacier 3 psrWe had radios so we could talk to each other, and Jim kept me posted about the little gang of curious seals that were following me, and popping up to watch.20140804 260 curious ice seal psrMy favorite was this little seal that was fast asleep on the ice.  He looked like a fat sausage…20140804 112 sleeping seal 2 psr20140804 313 sleeping seal face psrIt was fun to watch him until he finally woke up and looked at me with sleepy eyes.20140804 117 sleeping seal 3 psrI paddled farther away when he woke up, and when I looked back he was returning to his nap.  All the seals were curious and kept an eye on me, and I had fun watching them and seeing the wide variation of their coloring.20140804 275 ice seals psrBefore we left the glacier we had to scoop up a bit of the super-clear, dense ice – it keeps drinks cold longer, and it’s just neat to drink ice formed from snow that fell about 200 years ago.20140814 666 jim catching glacier bit psr

3 thoughts on “Glaciers and Ice

  1. So glad you got some of that old ice, we enjoyed ours for days! Great job in transiting Ford’s Terror! We’re provisioning in Campbell River, then back to Desolation Sound for our club cruise. Been having great warm weather, have quite a tan, so hope it lasts thru our cruise to end of Sept. Going to go to Princess Louisa on our way south.

  2. One of the highlights for us each week is acquiring decent wifi so we can catch up on the stories on M/V Adventures. We’re never disappointed, as the stories and photos are always exceptional! How can anyone read your blog and not want to immediately jump in a boat and do what you’re doing??? Love the close up seal shot, great face! And oh, those waterfalls and glaciers! Xoxo

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