Saturday, July 21, Joe & Nancy Sue Reeves "On the Road" (Seward, Alaska)
We took our glacier and wildlife cruise today but the weather was terrible! It rained on us all day and at times the fog covered the mountains a couple of miles away. We checked in at Seward Army Resort at 8AM. They had some tame bunnies playing out front. We saw a lot of wildlife and the Holgate Glacier but the pictures weren't very good because of the weather. We boarded the 52' military cruise boat, Arctic Star, this morning and left at 9AM in light rain. We were the only seniors on board as there were 4 other couples with young children. One of the young guys, stationed at Fairbanks, came out and gave us a piece of sausage and said try this. It was pretty good and we said so. Then he told us it was from a black bear he shot. I said it still tasted pretty good. Sue said, "Poor bear". We left at low tide and when we came back, 8 hours later, the water was 15' higher. We saw many beautiful snow capped mountains rising directly out of the water but could only make out their shapes through the fog and rain. We saw porpoise and whales but weren't able to get pictures. We did get pictures of some Bald Eagles, Puffins, nesting Seagulls and some Sea Lions resting on a rock. The old male Sea Lion, who the boat captain said would weigh 1000 pounds can be seen in the center of the picture with his harem. He forces all the young mature males out of the colony so he has all the females to himself. Of course, when he starts to get old (like us), the strongest of the young ones will come back, force him into exile and take his place. We saw the nesting area for thousands of Seagulls. They build their nests on cliffs where they are well protected but, if a baby falls out of the nest, it is a long drop to the water. We went to Holgate Glacier, which forks and comes down to the water in 2 places where it then breaks off (calves) huge chunks into the water forming icebergs. The small branch of the glacier had calved off a huge chunk forming an ice cave. The ice cave, seen on the first glacier picture, is shown close up in the next and is big enough to put several motor homes in. The main glacier, seen from about a mile away, is at least 20 times the size of the small branch and it calved off a "small" chunk bigger than our 52' boat. The captain would not get closer than a half mile since a big chunk calving off could swamp the boat. When a chunk breaks off it sounds like a cannon. Holgate Glacier is just one of hundreds of glaciers coming down passes from the Harding Icefield, which covers 300 square miles of the Kenai Peninsula, and Harding is just one of many ice fields in Alaska. Near the glaciers are many water falls coming from the melting snow and ice on top of the mountains. Nearby was a rock formation, rising out of the water, called "Three Hole Rock".
See pictures on the Cruise Boat. See more Cruise pictures.
Joe & Nancy Sue "On the Road", Seward, Alaska
On the Road E-mail #15 Page 1 (July 21) Seward, AK