Posted by: travelrat | September 15, 2016

Glacier Bay


Glacier Bay: 11th May 2016

I really ought to light a candle to whichever saint looks after photographers, because we had such a perfect day in Glacier Bay that it was almost impossible to take bad pictures.

At the mouth of the bay, a boat came out from the Visitor Centre, and some US National Park Rangers came to join us, bringing with them books, interpretative leaflets … and US National Park passports, which you could have stamped at every National Park you visited, for 2016 is their 100th Anniversary. I didn’t take a passport, for I didn’t have any plans to visit any more National Parks this year. But, I did take a sticker for my scrapbook. And, the Rangers were quite prepared to give presentations and answer questions.

When Captain George Vancouver visited in 1795, he could only get about five miles into the bay. But, by 1879, the ice had retreated and conservationist John Muir was able to sail another 40 miles. These days, you can travel 65 miles up the bay.

Now, I’m no scientist, but don’t these figures indicate that the retreat of the glacier … or nowadays, the glaciers (plural!) is actually slowing down?

Truly, this is an ‘At Sea’ day to end them all, not only for the superb scenery but also the chance (it didn’t happen!) of seeing orcas or whales. However, I fully accept that such creatures don’t appear to order.

We spent almost the whole day in the bay, sailing within yards of one of the Margerie Glacier, one of the biggest, where we remained for almost an hour. I’m told it’s ‘traditional’ for visitors to be photographed in the ship’s swimming pool, with a backdrop of glaciers and snow-capped mountains, but nobody seemed keen today. One Holland America tradition was observed, though, when crew members served out mugs of Dutch pea soup.

Surprisingly, ours was the only ship there. I’d have expected cruise ships to be milling around like flies around a jampot. But, the whole area is a National Park, as well as a World Heritage Site, so maybe the numbers are restricted in some way?




  1. Really beautiful pictures!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: