Friday, July 20, 2012

Quest for Glaciers

We had made reservations for a 4 hour cruise to see some of the glaciers in Prince William Sound on Friday. Glacier Quest Cruise was in our tour book and so we paid $89 plus tax for one ticket and the other was free. A great deal for what turned out to be a great tour. First we had to go through the tunnel to Whittier. The tour started at 1:00 but it was recommended to go through the tunnel by 11:30. It is a one lane 2 1/2 mile long tunnel and goes into Whittier on the hour. You can then return from Whittier on the half hours. You may be delayed if a train which also shares the tunnel is coming through. The tunnel was originally built as a way for trains to get to Whittier as the only way there was by boat or plane. Then later cars were allow to go through as well.


We made it through by noon, picked up our tickets and then went to a nearby cafe to get a salmon burger and fries to share.





We then made our way to the boat. The catamaran, the M/V Glacier Quest is a very comfortable boat with heated cabins and not being the weekend it was not crowded and so was easy to move around and get plenty of pictures from inside and outside. Our last few days of sunshine are gone and it is cloudy but no rain yet though it is on the horizon. The cruise is on the Blackstone Bay, part of Prince William Sound and is home to the largest concentration of tidewater glaciers. The views are just spectacular.



There was a forest ranger on board to point out the sites. We passed an old shipwreck in Shotgun Cove. It was grounded and the owner didn't it worth salvaging and it has sat there ever since.



We passed several glaciers but Blackstone and Beloit were the highlights.




The boat came very close to the glaciers and while out on the deck, we heard the boom as one of the glaciers calved, which is when some of the ice breaks free, We also saw a little calving.


Besides the glaciers there were also a lot of waterfalls and beautiful scenery.









We didn't see a lot of wildlife, but saw a seal sitting on the ice, a large group of birds and a few eagles that I wasn't able to get pictures of as they flew into the bushes quickly.



What a wonderful trip. The time went by so fast and we were soon back to port. I'll let a few more pictures tell the story of this amazing area.








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