Friday, August 5, 2011

Glacier Bay National Park Alaska

One of the most impressive sights on our cruise was a trip through Glacier Bay National Park. It is a national park that few get to see. In an effort to protect the evironment of the area only two cruise ships and 25 priviate ships are allowed in the park a day. They don't allow any fishing and the distance the ships can travel is limited. The water is a different color in the bay then the rest of the sea due to the melting of the glaciers. The glaciers vary in size, shape and color. Some are the typiical walls of white and blue ice but others are just flat sheets of ice. Some glaciers though are not white ice at all but dark muddy brown ice. Some glaciers are hard to see becuase they are surrounded by trees and covered in snow.
While floating silently through the bay we saw many sights. We got to see a bald eagle seating on an ice float and a couple of noisy puffins. There are birds (kittiwakes)that live in cliffs and eat the plankton that is stirred up by the calving of the glaciers. It was impressive to see the large chunks of ice break free and fall into the sea water below. This was the coldest day of our cruise. I was so glad that we had packed our heavy winter coats.

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