|After we left Yakutat Bay and the Hubbard Glacier, we sailed on towards Glacier Bay on Friday, July 20th. Glacier Bay is a National Park, so we picked up two National Park Rangers who stayed on board until we left the park that evening.
As we entered Glacier Bay, we could see another cruise ship in the distance, and saw one smaller glacier on the left side of the bay. We moved on into Glacier Bay and we saw other glaciers all around us. In fact, Glacier Bay itself was actually carved out by a glacier that moved through the area 1000 years ago. We were bundled up again and actually walked back to our room and hung out on the balcony to get out of the cold breeze up on the open deck.
While we were watching the glacier from our balcony, we heard a plane and saw it cross the face of the mountain to the right. It circled the end of the bay and then landed on the soft shore. As it turned around and appeared to be preparing to take off, it suddenly took a nose dive into the soft shoreline and its tail went into the air! We watched through our binoculars and saw the pilot get out of the plane. He appeared to be okay. He unloaded some gear onto the ground. Shortly afterward, we saw a boat lower from our ship and a “rescue party” went out to check on him. They came back to the ship without the pilot but loaded two more folks on the boat with cameras. They circled the bay taking pictures.
Later another float plane arrived apparently to help the first plane. Unfortunately, the float plane was unable to land due to all the ice in the bay. We learned that a helicopter was on its way to assist the stranded pilot and his plane, so our ship began to circle around the bay so everybody could get a good look at the glaciers. As the ship turned, we began to see a lot of calving and managed to get lots of pictures of ice crashing into the water from the face of the glacier. It was so cool to watch and listen.
We took tons of pictures and just soaked in the beauty of Glacier Bay. It was an awesome day for sure!