Friday, August 7, 2015

Wildlife Cruise on Prince William Sound

We had made reservations for the Stan Stephens 7 hour tour to the Columbia Glacier. This is one of the cruises we took our last time here. We parked near the Harbor area where there are a number of shops, restaurants,etc.

Once we are underway, we see a group of otters playing in the waters.

While heading out on the Prince William Sound, the Captain gives us information on Valdez and some of the history of the area. Valdez is surrounded by the Chugach Mountains, the tallest coastal mountains in North America. They are also the most heavily glaciated mountains in the Northwest.
We go by the trans Alaska oil pipeline and Marine Terminal which extends from Valdez to Prudhoe Bay. She talked about the Exxon Valdez Oil spill on 1989. Also mentioned was the 1964 9.2 earthquake which lasted a long five minutes and destroyed the town of Valdez. When it was rebuilt it was actually moved to a different spot.

The Marine Terminal

A Harbor Seal just laying around

We drove through some beautiful scenery and got to check out some more whales, Orcas this time.

As we got closer to the Columbia Glacier, we started to see chunks of ice in the water which got larger the closer we got to the Glacier. I love the blue coloring of the ice, It is such an amazing sight,

We saw another sea otter, this time hanging out on a piece of ice,

It was nice to have sunshine though it gets colder and colder the closer to the Glacier we get. We go out on deck to take pictures and then can go back inside to get warmer up. We also had lunch while on board, clam chowder, a bagel with cream cheese(what no lox!) and some Oreo cookies for desert.

Then we finally reach the breathtaking Glacier itself. We stand on the deck just taking in the beauty.

Doesn't it look like a face of a Sea Otter or a baby bear maybe, in the Ice.

There was some caving while we were there. As the ice crashes down, it sounds like thunder. One of the crew fished out a chunk of ice. There were a number of children on board and they were all well behaved and seem to have a great time. As did all the adults of course.

We made our way back to shore though we didn't get to see too much as we got socked in with cloud coverage. I did get a few pictures though.

We headed into town a few more times for shopping at the Safeway. We also stopped one afternoon at the Fat Mermaid, which is a restaurant near the Harbor. We had Savannah with us and it was nice to be able to sit out in the patio with warm sunshine. We were so lucky to get nice weather most of the week we were here. Especially as the forecast had predicted it to be in the high 40s and how 50s in the weeks before we got here. Glad they were wrong. One day we went out to Dayville Road to use our computers for awhile. There is camping out on Allison Point. You can only go so far as the road closes at the Marine Terminal. There is a spot where you can often see bears going after the salmon. We saw one last trip but not this time. I did take some pictures of the salmon at the Solomon Gulch Hatchery.

And below is a picture of Savannah before she decided to roll on a dead fish while I was busy taking pictures of the live ones. Boy, was she stinky. She went directly for a bath once we got back to our campsite. Another picture below of a waterfall near the Hatchery. Also a picture of Worthington Glacier from the road on our way out of town. We took a walk to see it last trip. We had a wonderful 8 days here in Valdez. We are getting to the end of our Alaska trip. We will stay one night in Tok and then onto Chicken, Alaska and then onto Dawson City in the Yukon, which we didn't go to our last trip. It should be an experience as it includes a Ferry Ride and a drive to the Top of the World.

No comments:

Post a Comment