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Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness

Sailing through glaciers or…Not every paradise is tropical

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Over two days we have glided close to glaciers. The twin Sawyer Glaciers, North Sawyer and South Sawyer were first. They are located at the end of Tracy Arm. Next was a day in Glacier Park. In the park we saw many glaciers, including the John Hopkins Glacier where we spent about an hour, with the ship moving in a very slow circular pattern so all sides of the ship had an excellent view at some time.

The first trip was my favourite though. The weather was extra kind to us. We transferred from the ship to a catamaran basically in the middle of the ocean … well, where Stephens Passage meets the North Pacific Ocean. The morning was foggy and as the catamaran took off, the ship’s horn was all we had to connect us to it as it was shrouded more heavily in fog with each metre we sailed away. It felt like a promo for a eerie Netflix drama along the lines of ‘Lost’.

We were extremely lucky because within a short distance from the ship the sky cleared to a brilliant blue with a few shifty white fluffy clouds. Apparently recent trips had been cancelled into Tracy Arm due to poor weather conditions.

However the wind chill factor meant it was freezing and we were standing out on deck waiting for those first glimpses of ice.

As we travelled up the arm the magical visions began. We stopped to watch a humpback whale dance for us, spurting and tail flapping before it did a dive deep into the water only to resurface and repeat the show again.

Then in grand Disney style the parade of ice began. The performers were bergy bits (1-5 metres above the water) growlers ( about a metre above the water) and brash ice ( all other smaller ice chunks ). There was one performer in the line up that our marine specialist said looked to be an iceberg.

At North Sawyer Glacier I witnessed 3 calvings. There was an audible loud boom and the ice cracked off the edge of the glacier a splash as it toppled into the water. Of course I let out the same enthusiastic shout of glee as I do when watching fireworks.

By the next glacier I couldn’t feel my hands so much so that I was eating chips and had to look to see I had chips in my fingers. As we approached the glacier and Brian pointed to the glacier a quote from Griswald’s Christmas Vacation came to mind. “She’ll see it later honey, her eyes are frozen shut.”-Ellen

I saw several more calvings at this glacier each as exciting as the next. . Apparently it was a good show day! Sometimes nothing happens.

With blue skies still above we sailed to Juneau where the ship now awaited us.

Before returning to the ship we rode the Goldbelt tram for views over the city. The cloud has followed the ship so the views were a bit misty. It was a very sharp incline and descent but this has been a YOLO trip for me, so I enjoyed it for what it was- a fearful journey up a mountain.


Author: Travelling Macs

A mum to 2 grown up children with young families of their own, who always make me proud. I'm a wife, grandmother,friend, sister, a recently retired teacher and a beginning ukulele player. I love eating great food but am becoming interested in cooking. Love traveling around this great country in which I live and worldwide more recently. Often found traveling with my husband Brian. I write for pleasure and if it's read (and enjoyed) by others then that's a bonus! 2014 saw me begin the 'new' me. Working hard at leaving the fear of 'what if' behind and replacing it with YOLO adventures. :)

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