Day Five- Glacier Bay National Park
Well Good Morning to you from another beautiful Alaska Day. For those of you following along from home, todays post will offer you both beauty as well as history. Wonderful Majestic panoramic views abound now once again. We are also blessed at being able to have some distinctively wonderful weather conditions. With only somewhat cloudy skies, which makes for ideal conditions to be visiting Glacier Bay National Park. I sincerely hope you will enjoy today’s post!
Today is one of most prominent reasons why having a balcony stateroom is the way to go on an Alaskan Cruise. Rather than having to dawn too much or not enough clothing and outer wear to scurry to the top deck to watch as much as your body can take(especially on brisk or rainy days). You are able to take it all in from the comfort and convenience of your own stateroom. There is a wonderful narration presentation by the Park Rangers (today is Randy and Andrew) which is being simulcast right onto your in-stateroom television, so that you are able to either step out onto your private veranda to take it all in, or if you get too chilled simply step back inside your stateroom and continue to watch all the splendor on your in-room screen or you can pull up one of your amply upholstered chairs and view everything through your huge balcony glass doors as it passes by. No need to worry about which side of the ship your room is situated as the Captain will most likely (depending on their skill, comfort zone, and weather conditions) be turning and veering the ship so that folks on both sides are able to view particular points and items of interests as you navigate the Park. Here’s a Tip: If you don’t have a balcony stateroom, remember the Crow’s Nest on Deck 10 is a good option for cold or inclement weather conditions.
We began our official entry into the park around 9am by picking up (while the ship was moving) Park Rangers and Alice who is a representative from the Huna Tlinget (pronounced “Hoonah” and “Cling-Ket”) Tribe which are all first nations people, and who will assist with questions the passengers on-board might have. You can see an informative video here (it’s an extremely large file so please be patient as it may take several minutes to load, depending on your computers speed, but if you would like to learn about the first people who settled and lived off this area I assure you, it is well worth the wait). It describes the Ancestral Lands that make up this beautiful National Park. (click here to view the video) You will want to move the slide viewer about halfway through Segment #1 in order to see the Tlinget Ancestral Lands in Glacier Bay Segment. Hope you Enjoy the History Lesson!
As we pass by Composite Island (pictured below) on our port side, this is one spot you will want to be sure to have brought along your binoculars as this island in particular is teaming with wildlife from pigeon guillemots (at Right) which are duck-like creatures (normally seen paddling quickly away from the cruiseship) and are capable of diving depths of up to 400 feet under the surface, to the famed Mountain goats (at right) which can sometimes if you are lucky be seen with their babies, but you will want to scourer higher up the landscape as you will rarely view them down at the waters edge. If by chance you should happen to view some dark spiky or large log shaped objects protruding from the water, sometimes with a bird or two atop them that is not debris, but the tips of small icebergs that have managed to survive hundreds of miles journey south from their tidewater glacier birthing places.
Be sure to check out some of the pictures of various sights as we cruised northbound through Glacier Bay, and the video of ice calving at Margerie Glacier (the picture at left shows how close we will get to the glacier) which is the furthermost point north we go and situated very near the Canadian/U.S. border. Here’s a Tip: Cruise ships are not allowed to turn around this close to the Glacier, so you will want to be sure to be on the Right (Starboard) Side of the ship for this one hour of viewing. Regrettably, we only observed some smaller minor glacial ice calving taking place today. I hope you will enjoy the pics and short video of Scenic Glacier Bay. (Click Here for Video). I wish to acknowledge the nostalgic and moving vocal we have used in our video by Johnnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynryd for his song “Lucky Man” which I believe really sums up how I feel like while viewing all of this marvelous beauty.
Today’s parting thought: One can’t help but to marvel at the sheer force and power that these glaciers have impacted on our landscape and a way of life(both new and old) that exist here in this region of wonder. Coming to learn and to know more about nature, native customs, and the impact that we as mankind have; and continue to put on our natural resources, and how important sustaining viable lifestyles for generations to come is incumbant on us all. Maybe, as we each make our ways back to our various home cities and lives, we will be able to think more about nature and our planet in a little different light. If we each in some little way were to do more in establishing a cleaner, greener lifestyle, we just might be surprised what an impact we as individuals can collectively bring about!
Well that’s all for now, but will write again tomorrow as we make our way to the vista filled city of Sitka! See you then, we appreciate your following us – “CruisewithMike”
CruisewithMike: Thanks for visiting our weblog for updated information on this continuing story or interest. You can contact Mike at email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow mike on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . Join our Travel Club at http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com .