Alaska

6/2: Bartlett Cove – Glacier Bay National Park Headquarters

 

The itinerary for this week takes us to Glacier Bay National Park for three days, then to several overnight anchorages on our way to Sitka.  At 6am on Sunday, our first full cruising day, the scenery wasn’t too exciting, but we did see humpbacks in the distance. The large windows in the front of the lounge area made it easy to watch the outside world from a comfy chair, and it was never crowded early mornings.

Breakfast was served and we continued watching for whales and other wildlife.  The scenery kept getting better and better, as we neared Glacier Bay National Park Headquarters at Bartlett Cove:

 

We reached Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay National Park Headquarters before 9am.  Everyone got off the ship and had a chance to stretch their legs.  We chose the one mile forest walk, and a short stop at the Glacier Bay National Park Lodge:

 

We joined the group for the easy forest walk, making a visit to see the National Park Lodge (and souvenir shop):

 

One of the most interesting things we saw in the lush forest was a wide variety of fungi, most growing on trees:

 

We saw a moose at the tail end of our forest walk, I mean – we saw a tail end of a moose as we finished our walk.:

 

We continued walking a short distance along the beach, past our ship and some kayaks, and wandered back to the Lodge to do a little shopping and a quick internet check.

 

There was plenty of time to stop along the way and read some of the informational posters supplied by the Forest Service:

 

We thoroughly enjoyed the walk through the forest, and the opportunity to visit another of our National Park Lodges.  We were back on the boat for lunch and were heading deeper into Glacier Bay.  It was quiet for an hour or so; we saw a few otters and whales in the distance but didn’t linger.  We  were headed toward the Marble Islands and Gloomy Knob:

 

I wonder if that’s a baby otter the mother is holding in the ?  The otters were very far from the boat. We also saw some more nice scenery as we sailed away.

 

The weather was perfect as we cruised away from Bartlett Cove.  Ranger Fay joined us, and would be with us for the next three days. Cruise ships visiting Glacier Bay National Park generally picked up a Forest Ranger for the duration of their time in the Park. The ranger shared information on the flora and fauna, and probably kept an eye open to make sure everyone obeyed the rules. We will see more or Ranger Fay in the next few days.

 

There was still a lot of daytime left, as we had such an early start at Bartlett Cove – check out the next post to see what kind of luck we had as we cruised to Marble Island and Gloomy Knob..

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