Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cruise - Tracy Arm

This highlight of our cruise was this side trip up Tracy Arm to Sawyer Glacier.  We left our big ship at 9am, boarded a catamaran, and didn't return to the ship until it was docked in Juneau.

Getting from the ship to the boat was easy.  This door opened on the ship and we just walked onto the catamaran.  Later in the season the catamaran might have as many as 150 people on it, but we only had 60 making it a lot easier to get photos.

The Sapphire Princess went as far up Tracy Arm as she safely could and then turned back.

A pretty piece of ice floating in the water.  The more compressed the ice is, the more blue it gets.

Galen and Karen about 1/4 mile from Sawyer Glacier.  The glacier calved half a dozen times while we stood there so it wasn't safe to go any closer.  We've seen glaciers before but never saw and heard one calve.  The glacier makes a very loud cracking sound called white thunder by Native Americans.

Sawyer Glacier

I believe this is South Sawyer Glacier.  There was so much ice we couldn't get any closer than this.

The Sapphire Princess leaving us behind.

One of several waterfalls we saw.  The catamaran pulled in so close to this waterfall, that we could stick our hands in the water.

We saw a lot of seals sunning on the floating ice.

A close up of Sawyer Glacier.

More seals.

It is extremely rare to see a bear on this trip but we got to see one!

This is a humpback whale, one of a half a dozen of them that swam around the catamaran for a little while.  The best sighting we had of a whale was from the ship.  A juvenile whale was showing off and brought his tail up and slapped it on the water over an over again:  Nine times in a row one time but usually four or five times at a time.  Of course, I didn't have a camera handy.

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