Friday, June 16, 2017

Canada and Alaska – Part 2, Day 7: Hubbard Glacier



This is probably THE event of the Cruise - a visit to the Hubbard Glacier. It’s the largest tidewater glacier on the North American continent – and LARGE is the key feature! 11000 feet above sea level, 6 miles wide and 76 miles in length – that’s a big chunk of ice! According to the Ship’s literature, the glacier also bucks the trend of most in that it ISN’T reducing in size. Apparently, if it continues to ‘grow’, it’ll close the seaward entrance to Russell Fjord and create the largest glacier-dammed lake in the North American continent. Phew!

But first, we have to get there and that meant leaving Skagway yesterday at 3.30pm. When we woke at 6am this morning, we still weren’t (quite) there, but hoping to see this unique piece of nature sometime after 7.30am. So just after 7.45 we headed to the Troughery Café (together with everyone else on the Ship) to kill some time before arrival.

As things turned out, it was perfect timing! We’d just finished eating when the now familiar voice of the on-board naturalist Milos began to describe what to expect and the best vantage points from the Ship. We headed out into the (very) cold weather – someone tell the guy wandering round the deck in shorts!! – and took up our initial position…


As expected, it was all a bit of a fight to get the best view, but technology came to everyone’s aid in the shape of Ships bow thrusters meaning it could turn through 360 degrees – so it actually didn’t matter where you stood, providing we exercised some patience, we’d eventually get the perfect view!

..and we did!
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In fact, after the event, the Ship announced that the weather conditions had been perfect and they were able to get us the closest they’d ever got to the Glacier. The only downside was that it was absolutely f..f..f..f..freezing out on deck and whilst others were losing their smartphones overboard whilst leaning out too far to get the perfect shot, I’d only lost all sensation in my fingers!
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…but definitely worth it for this once-in-a-lifetime location!

After a quick coffee, we were all thawed-out and we headed for Milos’s final presentation in the Theatre – The Night Sky. It was, as usual, educational and entertaining in equal measure.

With us disembarking tomorrow, we did a spot of repacking before heading for a substantial lunch in preparation for the wine-tasting session at 2pm. Then feet-up until our final Dinner in the Restaurant.

Radio silence now for 48 hours-or-so, whilst we make our way to Whistler via Anchorage. See you on the other side!
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