As we arrived at Glacier Bay National Park we went ashore for a hike. A Long House greeted us as we passed the visitor center.
The house is made out of cedar which gives it a great smell.
The hike through the forest was filled with scenes of fungus growing everywhere.
As we reached the river at low tide there was evidence of animals, as shown with this bear paw print. The guide indicated it must be a baby since it is so small, but they have great claws.
We returned to the ship and continued past Gloomy Point, where mountain goats populate the steep terrain.
The flow from a glacier ends up at the sea in a small river.
We stopped by Margerie Glacier, or “Large Marge” as the crew call her.
Nearby we dropped the anchor near Lamplugh Glacier, where the kayaks were put out for exploring.
We paddled around the small icebergs to get a close look at the Glacier.
Trying to avoid the larger ones, recalling that 10% of the ice is above the water, the rest is below. They also at times will ‘roll’ and you don’t want to be close to one this size if that happens.
Around the corner from the ship was an impressive waterfall with glacier melt water.
We returned to our home for the week thoroughly in awe of the opportunity to kayak in such an amazing setting, while wishing we could spend more time and go on the other adventures such as hiking up the ridge next to the glacier, or along the shoreline in front.
While checking out the beautiful scenery one of the large cruise ships went by. Amazingly despite they fact there are 2000 people on the ship, and they are passing the glaicer behind us, I counted about 40 people out on the decks or their balconies checking out the scene.
The day ended with a polar bear plunge for the daring.
The crew of the WAV were amazing. It was obvious that they are passionate about the sea, glaciers, wildlife and the opportunity to share it with the passengers. The great thing about the Uncruise people is the crew gets opportunities too, and many of them participate in the polar bear plunge.
The bartender Heidi was celebrating her birthday by going into the cold water.
One of the Stewards Jessi had a goal of doing the polar bear plunge each of the 18 weeks she was working, and since she had missed a couple early, was doubling up on the last 2 weeks (we were the second to last trip of the season), so Jessi went in twice!
As we began our return to Juneau we passed more Sea Lions, these guys are caught on a small rock island at high tide
Plenty of birds.
Early Saturday morning we returned to the harbor, where Captain Gavin carefully parallel parked the ship at the dock.
Our week had ended, but the memories will last forever. Most of our fellow travelers were from Australia and New Zealand, with some Americans mixed in. They were fun, friendly people who shared a passion for not just seeing the scenes roll by their ship windows, but get into the kayaks and paddle around, go into the forest and get muddy, or just sit around in the evenings sharing stories or learning about America.
As I noted on the first posting very few times do things turn out better than their advertising but the Uncruise folks came through. Even the weather was better than expected with very little rain (although I don’t think they get credit for that!).
Thanks to Captain Gavin and the entire crew of the Wilderness Adventurer.