Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hot In Alaska, Pt 4: Margerie Glacier Interlude

SUMMONED early morning to the upper promenade deck, we bundled up like children prepared to brace against the chilly wind caused by the movement of our ship along the Gloomy Knob area of Glacier Bay National Park.

Clouds appeared on the horizon for the first time since our trip began. They brought a mystic mood to the mountain peaks that hovered in thin air.

I couldn't see it, but to one romantic traveler on board, the peaks looked like two lovebirds kissing.

We cruised the National Park passage to Margerie Glacier with a sense of reverence and great expectations. It was as if we were about to see a soon-to-be extinct species in a zoo. Oddly enough, I had a somewhat similar feeling when we approached Venice during another trip several years ago.

The glacier is said to be one-mile deep and 21 miles long. Its height is estimated at 350 feet. About 100 of those feet are under water.

Anticipating icy weather, most passengers put on their warmest clothing. The woman in pink to the right of my husband (in blue) was the one exception, revealing it was really not that cold at all.

The ship lingered when it reached the glacier. Back at our cabin we enjoyed a perfect view portside.

From the comfort of our open balcony we heard the roar and crackling sounds of ice breaking off the glacier. Pieces of the blue-hued mammoth mountain of ice disintegrated before our eyes.

It seemed as if the warmth of our breathing might hasten melting of the ice.

Seagulls in Alaska need no skates. They maneuvered over ice with such ease you would think they were strutting on a sandy beach floor.

Ice drizzled to the sea like confetti, creating great landing pads for birds. When clouds dissipated, the water mirrored the glacier's aqua blue shade.

This glacier is a ancient brew of rock and ice. Its tips are jagged and sharp ...

reminding me of the teeth of some mythical monster.

A cave-opening in the ice was twice the size by the time we left the glacier.

I took dozens of photos, none of which convey the breath of this natural wonder that is both powerful and frail. The glacier tells a fantastical tale about a world always transitioning and never standing still or frozen.

Our interlude with this receding mound of ice was awe-inspiring and (as a bonus) the mere act of looking at it did make us feel cooler despite the hot summer sun beating down on Alaska.

I was beginning to appreciate that had the weather been blustery, rainy and foggy, as it often is in these regions, we would not have enjoyed such a crystal clear unobstructed view.

Next stop Ketchikan where we embark on another tour.

(It should be noted that although I went all the way to Alaska to see glaciers, there are many more much closer to home in the southwest of British Columbia. I have not been there in years even though they are less than a two-hour’s drive from where I live. The mountainous region of Garibaldi Provincial Park has about 100 glaciers that are also receding.)

Links to each of my Hot In Alaska cruise posts are as follows:
Pt 1: Setting Off From Vancouver
Pt 2: Settling Into The Noordam, Melting In Juneau
Pt 3: Skagway & The Historic Route To The Yukon
Pt 4: Margerie Glacier Interlude
Pt 5: Picturesque Ketchikan
Pt 6: Sunrise To Remember
Pt 7: Service With A Smile

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. Spectacular! I have seen glaciers before, but these look different to me...possibly because you were seeing them from the water.

  2. Wonderful trip you had. Too cold for me to embark on a trip like this. It is beautiful there seeing it through your lens.

  3. Oh, I do agree with EG!! Awesome glaciers and terrific captures!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Have a great new week! Enjoy!

  4. What a magnificent sight but also sad how these glaciers are melting so quickly.

  5. Hello, lovely images from Glacier Bay, it is an amazing place to see! Thanks for sharing your cruise and trip! Have a happy new week ahead!

  6. This must have been an incredible trip your photos are phenomenal.

  7. Great photos of a really magnificent place. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Wow - those mighty glaciers are magnificent!

  9. Lovely series of travelogue, Maria. I understand the similar feeling you felt in Venice and the Glacier Bay. Glaciers are melting worldwide and I’ve read that melting glacier lake is a terrifying threat for flooding in Swiss. Your expression, “the breath of this natural wonder that is both powerful and frail”, helped me to imagine how I’d feel if I were there in person by the forms and colors of the glaciers and roaring sound of their melting.


  10. Beautiful photos! The glaciers are really amazing, sad that they are melting. Thanks for sharing your cruise, makes me imagine what it would be like to join in an adventure like that...

  11. I have never seen an iceberg. As you say, we have some only a couple of hours away. How can that be?? "Powerful and frail" at the same time Those words really struck home, Maria! Your photos and description were so evocative, I felt about as close to your experience as it is possible to be without traveling to Alaska myself. A beautiful post!

  12. Beautiful blue ice calves and glacier photos ... It really does inspire awe to see them at such close quarters. To see and hear them both actually. We loved our glacier cruise (out of Valdez, not this glacier) but the same feeling of amazement. Except it WAS cold last summer for us. Thanks for the lovely pictures and the memories.


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