Travel Date: Thursday, May 5th 2016
Today was a full day on the ship. We would be heading towards Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. As I am eating breakfast with mom, I noticed a smaller boat approaching the cruise line.

After breakfast, I head up to the Crows Nest and meet our new visitors. They were from the National Park Service (NPS).

I relax at the top, enjoying the view as best as we can. The weather is foggy with some rain, and not very clear.

I meet some other people from the United States, and we get great information from the NPS.

As I look around us, I try to figure out where were are on the map.

 

 

 

Fortunately, GPS works here.

Now I can compare the GPS to the NPS map. Looking at the map, and comparing the visual scenery outside, it is hard to fathom that this was all a glacier once before in the year 1750.

The surrounding landscapes appear to get frostier and frostier.

 

 

We pass by the John Hopkins inlet, and begin to see from afar a glacier, but it is too foggy for a clear visual.

It is time to head up to the Tarr Inlet to see the quickly disintegrating Margerie Glacier, and the biggest of them all the Grand Pacific Glacier.

That’s Margerie.

 

 

I decide to go back to the room to get a closer, and more importantly, clearer view.

She is beautiful and deceiving big.

 

Hanging out with our neighbors Marcy and Bonny, and enjoying the view.

 

 

I get a few pictures with mom.

I decide to go out to the deck for a full visual. The cruise line is rotating 180 degrees to head back out of the Tarr Inlet.

 

 

 

That is the Grand Pacific Glacier on the other side. It is very dark and dirty, and doesn’t appear to look like what a Glacier would look like. But we are warned it is the biggest one in the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Interesting fun fact: the Canadian border line is just past our sight of the Grand Pacific Glacier.

 

I catch a flock of birds flying across Margerie. This should give you perspective of how huge she really is.
I spot other local wildlife taking a break.

The color of the ocean is clearer as the fresh water mixes in with the ocean water.

We are told that she calves every 10 minutes or so, and it sounds like “roaring thunder” when it happens.

I have my eyes peeled and ears wide open for the sound of “roaring thunder” and large chunks of Margerie peel off and fall into the ocean.

 

 

We finish the turn.

And get a full glimpse of Grand Pacific Glacier.

As we head back inside the pool area we enjoy the warmth of being inside.

They also serve us a local Dutch delicacy: pea soup.

I meet up with mom and sis to grab some lunch while enjoying the other side of views from the inside.

 

We get a visual of the other glaciers in the area. I think is John Hopkins Glacier from afar, or it could be Lamplugh Glacier.

I think everyone including me is “Glacier-ed out”. They are all beginning to look the same.

 

We head to the pool area. It is packed. Finding a table is difficult but in the end we do.

And we grab some local Alaskan seafood.

 

 

After a while of eating, we are exhausted. It is time to rest, or we can watch a movie. We head over to the neighbors to watch a chick flick. Mom and Bonny break down and cry. Mark warned us. 🙂

Later in the evening, I went back to the Atrium bar for Martini time. Woot Woot!

 

Around dinner time as we head toward Ketchikan, we are hit with rough winds and ocean waves.

 

But the cruiseline is relatively stable, minus some suddent movement here and there. More importantly, it is dinner time.

I get the Crispy Seafood Spring Roll: bay shrimp, surimi, sweet red chili sauce.

Italian Prosciutto Ham with cantaloupe, and argula.

Pork Buco with tomato sauce, lemon-garlic, and mushroom risotto.

And the entire gang is back.

And for dessert

The Strawberry Sphere: strawberry mousse, basil marinated strawberries, and sable cookie.

And a Chocolate Delight: chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganache, white chocolate mousse, and chocolate shavings.

I love the Strawberry Sphere, but I’m not too enthusiastic about my Chocolate Delight.

Fortunately, there is always a last minute sweet tooth craving station, as we exit the dining hall.

And now after a long day, it is time for bed.

Reflections:
It is one thing to stand on top of a Glacier, as we did in Juneau. It is another to actually see it up close and personal, and get perspective on how big it is. The journey from start to finish, including commentary from the National Park Ranger was amazing. Margerie was big and beautiful, and watching her calve large chunks of ice was spectacular and disheartening at the same time.

It was hard to truly appreciate the Grand Pacific Glacier. It was black, ugly, and difficult to see or scale its size from where I stood. By the time we were done with Margerie, it felt like all of the other glaciers started to look the same, and I truly felt “glacier-ed out.” I was fighting the thoughts of “I should appreciate this more” since we I may not see Glaciers ever given the rapid warming of climate and glacial melting of our planet.

Watching a movie with Mark, Bonny, and Marcy was fanatastic. A good break from our normal activities. Dinner with the entire gang including Riisa, Matt, and Ciaran. We missed all three of you.

Expenses in US$: $0.00
None.