Alaska

6/3: An Afternoon Stroll on the Beach

After lunch, we watched the Grand Princess visit the Grand Pacific Glaicer:

Glacier Bay June3-46

 


And then, the Grand Princess met the Diamond Princess.  The large cruise ships are on a fairly tight schedule when entering Glacier Bay – no more than two are allowed at a time, and they are scheduled to be in different viewing areas.   Being on the small ship, I don’t believe our schedule was as restricted, although we did have permits to be in the Glacier Bay and we made sure to follow the rules regarding not disturbing wildlife.

Glacier Bay June3-48

 

Our shore walk wasn’t until 4pm.  By this time, it had cooled down considerably and we got a few sprinkles.  There wasn’t as much to see as there had been on last week’s walks – maybe it’s too cold for some of the little intertidal creatures.  But it was interesting being so close to the ice.  Getting ashore was a tad tricky, since the boulders were slippery:

Glacier Bay June3-52

 


Like our other walks, we just strolled along, looking for interesting things.  The only rule is to not get far from the group.  Remember – there could be bears here, or even moose!  I am convinced I saw a bear track in the snow – I was, however, the only one so convinced.

 

We did see evidence that a moose had been here in the recent past.  There was also similar evidence to substantiate my bear paw sighting, but I’ll spare you the photo of bear scat.

 

 

Lou gets down closer to check out a rock in the stream (?) – don’t ask me, he really likes rocks:

Glacier Bay June3-55

 


A few more photos from our afternoon ashore. For both skiff tours and shore walks, it wasn’t always about seeing specific things or wildlife, sometimes it was just about being there … the last photo in the gallery below is an imprint of a bear paw in the snow.

 

Before leaving the shore, we had a chance to pose in front of a large chunk of ice. This is the second photo on this trip showing us together – two more than we usually get!

Glacier Bay June3-63

 


As we made our way back to the ship, it looked like it was aground.  Just perspective, everything was fine:

Glacier Bay June3-64

 


Back to the ship in time for a shower and Happy Hour:

Glacier Bay June3-65


Before dinner, as usual, Randall told us about tomorrow’s destination and the activity options.  Randall is the Leader of the Expedition Guides.

Glacier Bay June3-66


Dinner tonight was one of my favorites; I picked the halibut, and Lou went with lamb chops (he said they were “fine.”).  The ships also have a small selection of wine for purchase if you’d like.  If you don’t finish the bottle, they will hold it for you until the next night.

 

A look outside after dinner – looks like it had sprinkled off and on:

 

Usually we would be headed to bed about now, since it was 8:30pm.  But, an announcement was made that we’d picked up a very special visitor this afternoon, and this stranger had a presentation for us. We gathered in the lounge, and awaited our Mystery Guest:

Glacier Bay June3-78

 


Miss Elizabeth was here to tell us about early travels to Glacier Bay:

Glacier Bay June3-77

 


Glacier Bay June3-79

 


Miss Elizabeth entertained us with stories about what it was like to be one of the first visitors to Glacier Bay National Park, as she recounted her voyage on a Steamship to Glacier Bay in 1883.  Everyone enjoyed the presentation.

We did notice a resemblance to Ranger Fay, but have to say Miss Elizabeth played the part perfectly.  We found out later this is a program Ranger Fay developed on her own, and she presents it to passengers on the small ships cruising Glacier Bay.  She even made her own period costume.

We felt fortunate to have had Ranger Fay as our guide as we visited Glacier Bay National Park.

This had been another full day – not as packed with wildlife as yesterday, but still a totally new experience for us. We didn’t get to visit Johns Hopkins Glacier, because the inlet was closed to protect the many harbor seals who go there to have their pups – just another reason to go back in the future.

The photo below was taken as we pulled away from Reid Glacier just before dinner:

Glacier Bay June3-67

 


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