When I can remember to do it, I add this paragraph at the beginning of my vacation posts. It is for those who don't know that we have been back home since the end of May. I am now sharing my daily journals and photographs of our time in Alaska. If you have missed any of them and would like to take a look, you can go to the bottom of this one and click on "Alaska Trip-May 2018".
Thursday, May 17th, 2018
A Day on the Ship and the Hubbard Glacier
(A photo of Gregg on the helicopter pad. Those green tartan blankets at the bottom of the photo were supplied by the crew as it was very chilly.)
The ship will not be calling into any ports today, and it will be taking us to see the Hubbard Glacier. After that we will be heading to Seward where tomorrow we end our cruise and start our land tour.
We received a reminder that we had an appointment on the helicopter pad. It was actually an appointment with a glacier.
Hubbard Glacier is the longest tidewater glacier in North America, and this particular stretch of 76 miles of glacier water begins at Mount Logan in Canada's Yukon, and makes its way through Alaska to the Russell Fjord Wilderness.
The glacier was named after Gardiner Hubbard, who was a Massachusetts lawyer and educator, regent of the Smithsonian Institution and founder and first president of the National Geographic Society.
While we were there we saw big chunks of ice fall into the water. These are called 'white thunder' by the Tlingit.
Hubbard Glacier is found in Disenchantment Bay at the end of Yakutat Bay. It is one of over 110,000 glaciers in Alaska.
Disenchantment Bay was named by the Spanish explorer Alejandro Malaspina in 1791, who was disenchanted that he had not found the Northwest Passage.
(The close-ups of the glacier were taken by Gregg.)
As the ship enters Yakutat Bay, Hubbard Glacier can be seen from over 30 miles away. It is 76 miles long, 6.5 miles wide and 1200 feet deep. Its face is over 400 feet high, which is as high as a 30-40 story building.
The Malaspina Glacier is also found in Yakutat Bay. Malaspina is a piedmont glacier, does not reach into the bay and is difficult to see from a ship, even though it is about the size of Switzerland!
It was impressive to see the ship turn around, ever so slowly in a tight circle, to give everyone on board a great view from port to starboard.
And that was our time looking at the Hubbard Glacier. It is truly hard to put into words when you set eyes on it for the first time. You are not quite sure what you are looking at, you know it is out there, and then the lightbulb goes off. It leaves you speechless the closer you get.
And then we were heading out of the bay. Not so disenchanting after all was it Alejandro? Well, maybe in 1791 when he couldn't find the Northwest Passage. I bet if he came back today he would be renaming it Enchanting Bay.