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Glacier Bay


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Cruise    Continued

* The high point of the tour, for me, was seeing the magnificent glaciers. 

* Here's an interesting little glacier factoid from the NPS website:

How old is the ice at the face of the glaciers?
Glaciers flow forward about 3 - 6 feet each day. Depending on the length of the glacier and the steepness of the valley it flows through, the ice at the front of the glacier is anywhere between 200 and 75 years old. So snow that fell in the high mountains 200 years ago, when the U. S. Declaration of Independence was signed, calves (breaks off) off as ice today.

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Margerie Glacier Margerie Glacier

The Margerie Glacier is an excellent example of a tide-water glacier -- that is, a glacier that extends into a body of water, where it usually ends in an ice cliff from which icebergs are discharged.

The cruise ship gives an idea of scale.  The Margerie Glacier's height is 250 feet, and it is about 1 mile wide. The glacier also extends another 100 feet below the water line. By comparison, the Statue of Liberty is 307 feet tall.

Margerie Glacier Margerie Glacier
Margerie Glacier

As the ice pushes its way down the valley, it picks up rocks and debris, giving it a "dirty" appearance.

Margerie Glacier Glaucous Sea gulls
Sea gull (or kittywake) soaring near the glacier These are hardy birds, aren't they?
Margerie Glacier calving Eagle on glacier
The somewhat less-than spectacular ice-calving that we saw (another speck for my collection) Look closely and you will see a bald eagle (speck) atop the center thumb-like pinnacle of the glacier
Margerie Glacier Margerie Glacier
Margerie Glacier Look very, very closely.  The tiny black spot (bottom third, RH side) is a black water bird of some type.  The glacier is monstrously huge.
Seal Ice
Being watched ... The reason the captain left this spot ...  
The chalky-looking blue water is evidence of glacial run-off.  It becomes cloudy from the very fine silt suspended in the water.
Lamplugh glacier Lamplugh glacier
Lamplugh Glacier.  Like all tidewater glaciers, part of the leading edge is submerged. The Lamplugh glacier is 150-160 feet above water, and 10-40 feet below water.
Johns Hopkins glacier Johns Hopkins glacier
Johns Hopkins Glacier
The inlet was off-limit to boats due to seal pupping, so we couldn't go down there - but here is a nice photo I took from the airplane as we flew over enroute to Anchorage.
Chris Final view
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