Ice, Ice Baby!*

29 05 2014

*If you don’t get the song reference in this title you are either way too young or way too old.

 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

IMG_1494This morning we are heading straight into Dawes Glacier.  Never having seen a glacier before I have no idea what to expect.  I start getting the general idea when I look out and see large pieces of ice (“bergie bits”) floating in the water.

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IMG_1505The pieces keep getting larger and larger as we make our way up Endicott Arm to the glacier. A half-hearted attempt is made to practice Yoga this morning, but it is far too cold out on deck and the scenery has totally capitivated us.  We settle for some quick stretching and return to starting out the windows.

Bundled up for yoga

Bundled up for yoga

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How can you concentrate with this in your sight?

How can you concentrate with this in your sight?

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It takes a highly skilled pilot to maneuver this boat around the icebergs. Captain Mike assures us that he has been told this vessel is “unsinkable…”

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The breakfast call is made and we somewhat reluctantly leave the bridge.

Pre-breakfast

Pre-breakfast

Nice, simple fare

Nice, simple fare

Back to our perch to watch as we get closer and closer to Dawes Glacier (lots of photos!)

From the bridge

From the bridge

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Seal families go floating by

Seal families go floating by

Dawes Glacier is directly in front of us

Dawes Glacier is directly in front of us

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Your perspective is really thrown off because the glacier is humongous.  We feel like we are right on top of it, but Captain Mike says we are 2 miles away.  He is planning on getting as close as 1/2 mile.  This particular glacier is very active and usually does a lot of “calving” or breaking off of ice.  We see and hear (very loud) several calving events as we slowly get closer.  This is super exciting to everyone on board!

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When we get to our stopping point we do not anchor because it is too deep.  The boat will continue to slowly maneuver around the icebergs while we kayak and/or skiff tour around the glacier. Six of us decide to kayak and the rest will skiff tour.  Everyone will get up close and personal with the ice.

Rich and I are going to kayak.  We bundle up tight and prepare to make our way through the ice.

Day 7 (46) 05.23.14

You do NOT want to tip over here!

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IMG_1557The kayaking experience is absolutely amazing.  We hear lots of loud rumblings from deep within the glacier – sounds like thunder.  It calves several times and sounds like a shotgun going off.  As the ice plunges into the water, slow rolling waves make their way to our kayaks.  We get a kick out of steering our oars through chunks of ice!

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Look how tiny our dinghy looks against the glacier!

Look how tiny our dinghy looks against the glacier!

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Just when we are starting to freeze and our hands become numb, the crew comes out in another dinghy and provides hot cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps or Baileys!

Rescue dinghy!

Rescue dinghy!

The crew pulls us in for our warm treat

The crew pulls us in for our warm treat

Day 7 (100) 05.23.14

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This was one of the coolest things we have ever done.  The glacier has us all mesmerized and we are feeling especially lucky to be on this small boat so that we can get in close for this experience.

Day 7 (112) 05.23.14

Lunch is warm comfort food today – tomato bisque and grilled cheese. Perfect.

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After lunch we all hang out in the lounge or up on the bridge for the trip out of Endicott Arm and through Ford’s Terror.

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A piece of our glacier rests on the bar!

A piece of our glacier rests on the bar!

Later in the afternoon we are offered tours of the Engine Room and the Galley.

Heading down to the galley

Heading down to the galley

Chef Steve chats with Janet

Chef Steve chats with Janet

 

The remainder of the afternoon is spent napping/reading/gazing/puzzling..

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When Happy Hour rolls around Janet and I decide to celebrate an awesome trip!

The really good stuff

The really good stuff

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Janet plays bartender for Ginny

Janet plays bartender for Ginny

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"dead soldier"

“dead soldier”

Dinner tonight was crab legs and we had a feast.  The entire dining room is celebrating our week aboard the Safari Explorer. The entire crew lines up for us to thank.

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Amazing, amazing, amazing day aboard.  Yes, we are truly lucky and yes, it seems to always get better and better.

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One response

2 06 2014
Janet

Lots of awesome days, but this was the best of the best!

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