The first full day spent on the boat was “at sea.”
It was an overcast day but this didn’t matter since we spent most of it inside listening to the lectures. We signed the kids up for Club HAL, but unfortunately the lecture times didn’t jive with the hours that Club HAL was available, so Mark missed most of Don Prothero‘s talk that morning. It was basically a super-condensed “Glaciers 101” so I did my best to recite what I’d learned. Later on during our trip Mark would take advantage of several opportunities to bend Don’s ear; much better than a missed lecture I’d say.
The kids spent their time outside of Club HAL swimming with new friends, playing chess and eventually having the run of the ship.
The next day was the highlight of the trip for me. We cruised slowly into Glacier Bay, passing several glaciers far away in the mountains, which towered over us from all sides.
An Alaskan park ranger came on board that day to provide information on what we were looking at. Her voice was piped throughout the ship as she described the glaciers in a way that made you think she was talking about a diamond on the QVC channel.
“Look how it sparkles in the sunlight. It is so timeless yet everchanging.”
Blech. Thankfully her commentary was barely audible from the deck of the ship and we had our very own geoscientist, Anders Carlson, to tell us what we were looking at. Terrific Madison folks, no less!
Our ship spent several hours quietly floating next to the Margerie Glacier. We watched as it calved blue ice into the sea while eating lunch by the pool, taking turns with the binoculars.
Sagan was especially interested in the icebergs. And spotting whales.
Seeing this glacier so close was a great experience.
Up next: Stops in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan.