Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Everything I Know About Glaciers I Learned From the Movies!

I must have been absent in school when we had our lesson on Alaska and glaciers. In my mind, I was expecting gigantic mountains of ice. After all, I had seen the move Titanic! Don't you remember the boat coming so close to that huge chunk of ice? And I remember some other movie about a plane crashing and there was ice everywhere and the dead people got eaten - Alive. I'm sure that movie was about a glacier or some cold place!

Imagine my surprise when we arrived in Sitka to this beautiful scenery! That is our cruiseship - we had to tender to the dock. There is still some snow on the mountaintops, but everything else is lush, green, and gorgeous!

And then one day we cruised an area called Glacier Bay. I couldn't wait to see the ginormous mountains of ice! This is me on our verandah - July weather, gotta love it! The wind was pretty wicked that day.

We arrived at Marjorie Glacier - the color is unbelievable. Don't forget to click on the pictures to see them full-sized.

Take a good look at this picture and you'll see some kayakers - you know the type, full of adventure, and they don't feel the cold!

Here they are close up - I love the way the glacier reflects in the water. So, we're watching the glacier, and these nuts in the kayaks. All of a sudden, Marjorie got indigestion and a huge section of the glacier calved - which means it broke off into the water almost like an implosion of a building.

That might not seem like a big deal, but the crew on the ship said they haven't seen that in over four years! And Ted got it on video too - woo hoo! When I get time and can figure out how to edit the video, I'll try to add it here.

So, the ripple effect in the water is HUGE, and here are these nuts in kayaks! I was afraid for them! I even told Ted that one of my Red Hots - Sharon - would be in that kayak if she came to Alaska. They bobbed up and down, and I would imagine their hearts were in their throats! Our huge ship rocked quite a bit from it too!

So, the glaciers were not quite the picture I had in my mind, but they were very cool! I'm sure you have to go to Antarctica to see what I have in my mind, but that is never gonna happen!


Phyllis said...

Tom and I went on a canoe up to a smaller glacier near Ketchikan. As we got closer the air tempurature dropped to about 30 degrees. It was COLD! The water had ice cubes floating. That's the "off the beaten path" fun.
Welcome home.

Laura said...

Phyllis - you're much more adventuresome than I am! I'll stay on the non-beaten path, thank you very much!

A New England Life said...

Incredible Laura. Almost a little scary. Those people in the kayaks ... I would love to hear the story they have to tell! Can you imagine how terrified they were? Oh my gosh.

As for me, I would have been bundled up just like you in a blanket : )

Glad to see you added Ted to your family pictures.

Nancy and the fatties said...

What an amazing vacation you had. I think I would have been under the coats and blankets on the deck with you and Sharon, drinking something hot with chocolate in it and whippy creme on top. Can't wait to see the video!

Doreen said...

WOW That is way cool. Was it that cold that your nose is red? Phyllis are you nuts? Kayaks roll!!!! Big creatures in the water. I wonder how long it would take you to freeze if you tipped? I can't wait to see the video. What makes the glacier have some black on it? Tell me it's not pollution.

Doreen said...

You crack me up with the music. hahaha

Laura said...

Doreen - the water is very cold (duh!) - I think in about 10 minutes, you'd be dead. The black in the ice is actually sediment that comes from the mountain as the ice/water flow down to create the glacier. There is a better technical explanation, but I was on vacaton, and there wasn't going to be a quiz!

Pegasus said...

Fantastic photos!! Frank really has me looking into this Alaska stuff! This sounds like lots of fun but lots of packing with the winter coats and more warm clothes!!

Jenn: said...

These pictures are gorgeous. every one of them. I would have been scared for those kiyakers too.

I can't believe the rare things you saw. It seems Alaska really wanted to impress you.