Monday, June 3, 2013

Glacier Bay June 3rd

We wake and we are travelling towards Glacier Bay.  We are here a bit later this time and when Bernie wakes he dresses and heads out to the Promenade to watch for wildlife.  I lounge for a bit longer and look out the window.  I see a whale in the distance breeching and smashing his tail down about twenty times.  He is close to the shore so I am sure he is rubbing his belly along the rocks.  It is beautiful, and I giggle as the captain comes on the tv to announce the whale, but I been watching it for about five minutes already.



Grand Princess in the distance

Grand, at first the ranger said the Island and so many knowledgeable passengers were saying NO!  The Grand - and this is way before we could make out the name at the bow

Bernie comes back and asks if I saw the whale, yup I say.  Then he says “did you see the puffins” sadly no and that is one thing I haven’t seen yet and want to.  But he got a great picture of some.  I am happy to report though that about an hour later I did see some Puffins with my own eyes.  We also see otters, sea lions, eagles, other birds, and a mountain goat. 

We head up for some breakfast in Horizon Court and it is busy in there.  We offer to share our table with a lovely couple from Australia who are on a big trip from LA to Alaska then across Canada then down to New York and then home.  We chat about travel and share ideas/thoughts/tips.  Such a nice couple and this is one great thing about cruising  -- all the lovely people you meet.

We bundle up to head out on deck to watch for wildlife and watch as we approach the glaciers.  For me it is long pants, a long sleeve top, a fleece and then my jacket.  Today I didn’t need gloves or a scarf as we are here around noon. 

Now for the best place to view the glaciers and spot wildlife – best tip I can give you is head out to the Promenade deck – deck 7.  Stand on either side of the Promenade and scan the water left to right then to the left.  Trust me you will see so much more from here than from the upper decks, plus the upper decks are way busier.  We probably have spent 90% of our time this voyage on the Promenade deck and we have spotted pretty much everything from here.  A good set of binoculars is also handy and keep your camera ready. 

see all the crowds on the upper deck
For taking pictures at the glacier make sure you turn on your flash as the glacier is very bright and your camera thinks it doesn’t need the flash but if you pose in front of it you will come out dark.  So turn on your flash, or force your flash and then retake.  Here is an example of the pic with the flash.  For the flash shot I actually changed the setting to over compensate the flash and I changed my ISO settings to a very low setting – I have it set at 200 ISO.

few people on deck seven and you are so much closer to the water

not as pretty but much bigger - Grand Bay Glacier

Today for lunch they are serving an Alaskan Buffet in the enclosed pool area.  I try to take a few shots of it but I don’t indulge in any of it as the line is long and I don’t care for some of the items and opt for the Horizon Court instead.  Mark Harris the naturalist joins us and we chat about all we have seen.  Bernie provides some written narrative he can use for sailing out of Vancouver on some of the sights he can use when talking at sailaway.

Now some information with regards to sailing into Glacier Bay.  The park rangers will board and then they take over discussing about the park and the glaciers.  A ranger will give a talk in the Princess Theater at some point about the park.  There is also a ranger that will in the enclosed pool area to answer any questions you have.  As we sail up the channel they will come over the loud speaker explaining what we are looking at too.  They also attend the kids area to give them a special presentation.

One key thing is there are some rules the passengers and the ship have to adhere to while travelling in Glacier Bay.  No paper cups or garbage like napkins should be on the open decks.  You are to be careful with food and leaving it out on the decks.  We don’t want food to fall in the water or for the birds to eat it.  If this happens the wildlife get to learn that when a ship comes in they will get food and they will suffer at the end of the season when no ships come in.  The shops, casino and crew activities will be limited when going into the park.   When we pull up to the glaciers the Captain will position the ship for one side to get a good view then after about a half hour the Captain will spin the ship for the other side to get a good view too.  Trust me you will all get a great shot of the glacier. 

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We are back in the cabin relaxing.  Peter has just called and him and his partner Alberto want us to dine with them tonight in the Sterling Steakhouse.  So we have agree and will be heading back there tonight.  But I already know what I will eat and not eat and can’t wait to have a great meal with them.

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