The thing I always talk about, for that matter, anyone talks about, that have been to Alaska is the breathtaking beauty. It is spectacular. Everywhere you turn there are rugged majestic snow covered peaks, green trees, an abundance of wildlife.
Yesterday morning our ship cruised up Tracy Arm Fjord. This fjord was carved by a tidal glacier, Sawyer Glacier which now meets the sea 28 miles from the entrance of the fjord. Snow capped mountains in the distance end with cliffs 3000 feet tall that line the journey up to the glacier. Melting snow has turned into tumbling waterfalls down these steep cliffs as it meets the sea. Waterfalls are everywhere. From a distance these streams have the appearance of lightning bolts dancing on the walls of cliffs. One mountain peak in particular resembled the Matterhorn!
First we encountered small ice chunks which eventually turned into various sizes of icebergs. The further up the fjord we sailed, the larger and more saturated the icebergs became. At one point you could hear the ship slicing through the ice flow, a rather eyrie crunching sound.
Many of the larger pieces of would be various shades of blue. One in particular was the deepest royal blue I have ever seen. It looked like a geodite with the interior an intense blue. The picture of this is included above.
It eventually became too dangerous to approach Sawyer Glacier any closer than we had already sailed. We could see most of the upper part of the glacier’s face but not the whole glacier or where it met the sea. That was just one bend of the fjord away. At this point, the captain turned the ship in very tight quarters and we proceeded out the 28 miles of the fjord and on our way to Juneau. This 56 mile journey took us four hours, from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Most of that time was spent on the open topside deck in temperatures in the high 30’s. It was the fastest four hours ever. Mesmerizing. All I could think was that I was in the middle of a postcard. WOW.
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