Cruising Glacier Bay - Alaska You can watch movies about it, you can hear about it, you can read about it, but until you partake of it, you have no clue how thrilling it is to cruise Glacier Bay. Glacier Bay Mountain ranges with peaks over 10,000 feet, culminating in 15,320 foot high Mount Fairweather within the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Nowhere else in Alaska, or in the world, can you see the amazing sight of the tidewater glacier that spreads from a peak 3 miles high down to sea level, that is known as the Margerie Glacier.
Only 200 years ago, the beautiful fjords and cruising areas of "Glacier Bay", were buried under ice thousands of feet thick. In 1794, Capitan George Vancouver saw the face of an enormous glacier at Glacier Bay's entrance at Icy Strait. Naturalist John Muir found in 1879, that the vast ice had withdrawn an impressive 48 miles up the Bay. Amazingly, by 1916, its face had receded 65 miles all the way back to the entrance of Tarr Inlet, where it is today. So, in only 200 years, these massive glaciers have left us with the beautiful, 65 mile long bay we enjoy now.
The glaciers on the Bay are extremely active and quite frequently, you get to hear or see "calving". It occurs when huge parts of the glacier breaks off and falls crashing into the Bay. The calving imitates an explosion, reverberating off the walls of the glacier, and the ice makes a giant splash as it smashes into Glacier Bay. Along with Mother Nature's incredible playful artistry of twinkling icebergs and striking views, you will probably be entertained by the plentiful wildlife that call this section of Alaska their homefront. Sea otters, sleek sea lions, wolves, moose, black bears, Alaskan brown bears, puffins, humpback whales, minke and orca, harbor seals, porpoises, stunning bald eagles, mountain goats, and an amazing 200 breeds of birds are a delight to watch.
Puffins are one of the most vibrant birds. They are small seabirds, pigeon-sized, that live on the open water throughout the largest part of the year. Except for breeding.They swim and ride the surface of the ocean all year long regardless of harsh weather. >From April to mid August they colonize on islands, and seacoasts to breed. They have black and white feathers and a vertical, flat, triangular shaped bill which is brightly colored especially during breeding season.
Whether in awe of the wildlife or breathing in the awesome- ness of the views, the beauty of Alaska stands out in this impressive Park. ========================= Jenna Grant is webmaster at http://www.qtcruise.com ========================= .
By: Jenna Grant