Glaciers and Wildlife
Today started out as another beautiful day but the clouds moved in later. We were awoken in the early morning by loud scrapping sounds of the big chunks of ice. Luckily the crew told us to expect this otherwise we would be thinking Titanic. We got out of bed to see the beautiful Harvard glacier. This glacier is half a mile wide and 300 feet tall. We were lucky enough to see some big chunks of ice fall into the water. This is called calving. It starts with a thunder like sound of the ice shifting and cracking. Then the ice tumbles to the water and creates a big wave that rocked our boat. It was pretty amazing to see.
We spotted a bunch of harbor seals on the ice enjoying the sunshine.
After more glaciers, we saw groups or “rafts” of sea otters. They were so cute swimming on their backs. The mothers carry their young on their bellies. This was also a great time to read and catch some sun on the top deck.
Next we passed through Ester Passage. Very few boats are able to go through this passageway because it is very narrow. Here we saw a bald eagle sitting in a tree. We also saw a bear on the shoreline.
Once out in more open water, we saw small porpoises jumping next to the boat (these looked like black dolphins). Later we saw whales! Unfortunately we were unable to get any good pictures. But, it was fun looking for the spray of water and then seeing the whale smoothly crest the surface. We also saw steller sea lions. The males weigh up to 2,200 pounds. They were bellowing at each other. They were loud!
Our final stop was at Columbia bay and glacier. Here are some of the massive icebergs. Only 10% of the icebergs are visible. Wow!