Alaska Adventure 2018 travel blog

Yakutat Bay and first glimpse of Hubbard Glacier

Mount St. Elias

beautiful mountains and valleys

shades of blue with ice in the water

getting chilly

Hubbard Glacier with mountains in the background

lounging seal

vivid blue ice

ice in the bay

the far right hand side of the Hubbard Glacier

view as the ship turned around in the bay

left side of the glacier


Our ship sailed out of Whittier and headed south towards Cape Hinchinbrook and then southeasterly toward the Gulf of Alaska. During the next morning, the shipped sailed towards Yakutat Bay. While the temperature was in the low 70s when we left Whittier, it dropped down into the 50s at night. As we approached the Hubbard Glacier, the temperature dropped although the skies were sunny. We went back to our room and bundled up with heavy coats, gloves, boots and headgear! It is amazing how chilly the air can get as you approach a glacier!

We could see the glacier for many miles away and as we navigated closer, it became more and more impressive! We could see Mount St. Elias on the left as it soared to the skies. We continued to approach the glacier and gaped in awe. The face (leading edge) of the glacier is 6 miles wide and it stands hundreds of feet high. We continued to inch closer and closer and the magnitude of the glacier amazed us. It was huge! We could see the bright blue layers which represented ice that was hundreds of years old. The glaciers are formed when there are turbulent storms in an area that drop large amounts of snow that is compacted into ice.

There was a lot of ice in the water as we approached the glacier, and this is the result of “calving” which means that chunks of ice have fallen from the face of the glacier into the water below. The sounds that the glacier makes are like gunshots or explosions. This is the sound of the ice cracking from the weight of itself. Many times, the cracking will result in calving, but not always. We circled around the glacier for a couple of hours and it did not get old at old. A beautiful sight!



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