Friday, August 10, 2012

Tour of Tracy Arm Fjord: YOU Asked for More Pictures...

Tracy Arm Fjord was my favorite part of the cruise. Four hours of traveling a box canyon of startlingly tall and steep mountains, in water of Caribbean blue, while playing the name the ice-berg game. Haven't played it? It's like name the cloud.

Well, not quite. You've got 350 balconies whose conversations you can hear who are also participating. That might sound annoying, since sound carries well on water and certainly bounces off mountains that look so close you could reach out and touch them, but it wasn't annoying. It was one of those bonding things, and the guys on the balcony next to us let us borrow some of their binoculars, we lent them our corkscrew, it was all great. I'll let the pictures tell the story.  

Balconies to our stern.  

iPad guy - NO iPAD! (see last post for story) 

We have to make that narrow turn and not do a Titanic...

For scale.  that's a fairly good size fishing boat. 

Out of which these guys got into a motor boat...

We passed a LOT of icebergs.  I'd say this one was the size of a Kia.  

The icebergs that calve from the bottom of the glacier, the ones that have been scraping along the bottom, next to the ground for thousands of years, aren't as pretty...but wow, totally cool to learn about.  

So here's one of those streams I talked about in my former post, and you can also see that it isn't just big icebergs.  Some of those are dinner tray size.  

Our first glimpse of the glacier at the end of the fjord.  Somehow, I hadn't wrapped my brain around the fact that a fjord ends at the glacier which formed it...and we have to somehow turn this giant boat around...

So here we are at the end.  You can't see it from any of my pictures, but with the binoculars from next door, we could see a colony of seals living on the ice which floats a bit away from where the glacier calves.  It's a pretty flat sheet, and they lay around on top like little sausages (until you get binoculars) and were really amazing to get to see.

So how did we turn around?  We pivoted.  He kept us in place, the center of the boat not moving, and just spun the ends around.  Then we went back out the way we came, only we got to see all the cool stuff on the other side!

Wanna play the name the iceberg game?  I just have two for you since this is getting so long, but let me know what you see in these, and next time I post, I'll tell you the 350 balcony consensus.  Ok, there was no consensus.  As there cannot be.  Beauty of this magnitude is in the eyes of the blessed beholder.  


#2 a and #2b (foreground)

If you're still reading, bless you.  I know vacation pictures aren't popular, but two people asking was enough for me to want to share this amazing experience with you.


Jo said...

Great pix Tina. I have travelled the fjords in Norway, and in what was Yugoslavia, but never been where there were icebergs, how wonderful. Ii have always wanted to visit Alaska so am really enjoying these pictures, thanks for sharing.

Brian Miller said...

what i love vacay pix! and considering this is on my list of places to hit i am very interested...glad you did not titanic....smiles.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I loved seeing the glacial lakes in Canada (Lake Louise area) .. and think I'd love to see Alaska and its shoreline - fascinating history there .. just not sure about the cruise though .. but I suppose a few days isn't too onerous!!

I'll be back to check out more of your photos and Alaska ... Life is Good isn't it!! Happy days - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Of course I was still reading!
Amazing shots. That fishing boat looked so tiny.

JoJo said...

GREAT photos and I love traveling vicariously through people b/c I can't afford it myself so you can post more pics and that'd be fine w/ me!!

D.G. Hudson said...

I enjoy vaca pics, especially location shots of places I haven't been.

Nice photos, looks stark and pristine. I've never been on this cruise, so now I've had a mini tour. Works for me. Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl said...

Stunning photos, Tina, and great commentary. No working brain to think of clever names for your icebergs.

Stephina Suzzane said...

He's got such a spark of humanity, real humanism, in his work, even in the more obviously horror pieces, ... That's what I found most compelling about this story. It was a hell of an emotional journey.

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Arlee Bird said...

I didn't realize they used the term fjords in Alaska. I thought that was only a Scandinavian term. I guess an iceberg the size of a Kia would not be quite as hazardous as the one that the Titanic hit. We're you singing "My Heart Will Go On" as you passed the bergs?

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loverofwords said...

Thanks for posting your photos. We were there last July. What a fabulous place. I think you have to have a bit of courage to live there full time. But seeing the icebergs is a humbling experience in many ways.