Sunday, July 24, 2016

Glacier Bay

Sunday, July 24, 2016, we entered Glacier Bay National Park. We picked up a park ranger at Bartlett Cove and headed up to the Marble Islands to look at wildlife.

Then we saw mountain goats and a rather dark brown bear in the Gloomy Knob area. I only shoot with an iPhone these days. Between Kathy and I we own a number of cameras, in fact she is packing a professional rig, (mostly for Boston). But I like the challenge. I had to zoom to get the bear and that costs resolution, but it is almost an artsy rendering. You can see it is a bear, but it looks almost like a pastel.

After Gloomy knob we started to see the occasional small iceberg in the water.

Next we headed almost due North to visit Margerie and Grand Pacific Glacier. It was cold and dreary, but awesome nonetheless. 

They were only planning on 30 minutes there, but stayed a bit longer.

Then South to John Hopkins glacier. Wow. I was using the park service map and the compass on my iPhone to track when we made the turn to SE. I had my doubts, it was a narrow passage and foggy, low visibility. But I put on all my outdoor shirts, two polyester base layer, two wool outer layer, my LL Bean thinsulite Harris tweed jacket, (I have taken that to cooler places around the world for twenty years), and my hat and headed up to the top deck. The fog had cleared and I had the deck to myself, a shooter’s dream. I felt like a puppy dog in the back of a pickup truck going from the port side to the starboard shooting this or that. The light changes so quickly here.  John Hopkins glacier rightfully gets top billing, but there were many glaciers in this section of the park, Lamplugh, about 15 minutes before the main event certainly deserve an honorable mention.

As we got closer the small icebergs in the water increased in density. We had to stay to the South, (which was the prettier view), as the North was full. There were smaller boats that could not come this close, the ice would be too much for their fiberglass hulls.

Eventually we arrived at John Hopkins and I no longer had the deck to myself, but I was still in a good place to shoot so when Kathy came up we did reflections shots and looked for opportunities to shoot calving. I particularly liked the view of nearby Gilman glacier.

 Now the top deck was too crowded, so we made our way to the bow on second deck. For the moment it was empty, it was fun to shoot and to see from that perspective. The sun tried to come out.

All good things have to come to an end and soon the bow was packed, but we had our shots from that perspective and worked our way back up to the top deck. There were only a few hardy souls remaining.  I was hoping a huge chunk of the glacier would fall into the sea. It didn’t happen so eventually, I gave up and went back down to warm up.

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