I got chatting to a friend at work the other day regarding cruises and what was the best Wandering Memory. I love a good cruise, and although wouldn’t want to only cruise for the rest of my life, really appreciate the comfort and ease that they provide. Answering it, along with any questions based on ‘favourites’ are always the hardest questions to answer as every port presents another amazing experience.
One that really took my breath away was the region of Glacier Bay in Alaska. Heading to Alaska was a dream in itself, but Glacier Bay really was something special.
Glacier Bay covers millions of acres of land encompassing dramatic landscapes, dominating snowcapped mountain peaks, acres of wilderness rainforest, rugged wild beaches, waterfalls, sheltered inlets, majestic fjords and of course a number of very impressive Glaciers.
Being a passionate amateur photographer, I was up and out early ready to capture the scenes I had heard so much about. From the moment we entered to the moment we reached our turning destination, I was outside snapping away… I honestly must have taken over a thousand images just in those few hours. Those first few minutes however were the most tantalizing, with layers of morning mist still creeping around the mountain corners and stillness that only wilderness brings.
Another highlight of being awake so early was being able to witness a number of black bears all feeding on a whale carcass washed up a mere few hours prior. Unfortunately it was difficult to capture as such a long way off, but remarkable to witness.
The landscapes were like nothing I had ever seen, dramatic, powerful, eclectic and extremely inspiring. I had been captivated by many a place prior, but this was just something very special. I think it was the contrasts of the milky blue water, pure white ice, lush green forest, and beautiful clear blue sky.
Our first sighting of the high Glaciers was nothing special, as we have seen them and even had the privilege of climbing one and skiing another. However I could image the excitement on some of the passengers faces at just a glance at one of these landscape moulding features. We were met by a pod of dolphins and even the occasional minke whale whilst cruising into the bay, but the real highlight was still to come.
Essentially the Bay has been created by a number of Glaciers that have since retreated into the mountains, however at the end of the Bay; you come face to face with the John Hopkins and Margerie Glaciers. These are just incredible as directly border the water, like a shield of ice stating ‘thou shall not pass’. The immense size of the wall of ice in front of us was just captivating.
It’s incredible how much time you can lose looking at something so ancient; it not only captivates the imagination but just gives you a true sense of how small we really are. It was also great to see the contrasts in coloring, from the rock and dirt affected blacks, the misty grays to the piecing ice whites – truly incredible.
We were incredibly lucky to witness one of the glaciers shed a mammoth ice formation. It started with a loud cracking, so loud we heard it echo around the mountains, and then drastically the loose ice plummeted into the sea not a mile in front of us. The ice made huge waves as it bobbed up and down in its new watery home, settling minutes later. What I had suddenly realised was we had just witnessed the birth of an iceberg, maybe a very small iceberg but still a remarkable experience.
We left the bay just as the sky was darkening, and again this gave a truly unique perspective on the beauty of this place, the stars appeared and the water glowed.
A truly beautiful Wandering Memory!
Follow me today for more Memories, stories, reviews and photos…