Wednesday, June 11th.
Woke up ate at the buffet and then went strait to the pool. We were traveling to Hubbard glacier this morning, so we needed to fill a couple hours before getting to it.
It was kind of like swimming in a wave pool, because as the boat rocks it made waves in the pool.
Around 9:45 we got our first glimpse of the glacier.
On one side of the ship it was lush, big green mountains, and on the other side
it was snowy.
I thought it would be fun to have a picture of them in their swimming suits with a glacier behind them (there's one right above Noah's head). It really was amazing how much swimming in hot water brings your body temperature up and makes it feel warmer.
We got all bundled up and headed to the bow of the boat, along with hundreds of other cruise guests.
Grandpa Rob was nice and let all the kids take a turn on his shoulders so they could see it. We were struggling to find anywhere to get up front to see it. Little did we know the captain would be turning the boat from one side to the other for a couple hours, so people on each side could see it. Had we known that we would have just stayed in our rooms. We stayed on the deck for about 30 minutes and then went to the room to view it from our balcony's. So much nicer not having to wrestle old ladies to get a good view.
I'll try not to say this too many times during this post, but WOW!!! It was absolutely incredible to see this glacier up close. I really don't know how to describe it, unbelievable, awe-inspiring, beautiful, incredible.....
We were lucky to see lots of calving (parts of the glacier fall into the ocean). Nothing huge, but still some big chunks. It was surprisingly loud when it would calve too. Sounded like a gun being shot in a canyon. A "shot" would go off and the we would see the "waterfall" and then the splash. So cool.
I really liked this side of the glacier because it was such a stark contrast, with the glacier on the left and green mountain on the right. So cool.
It's amazing how blue the ice is.
Isn't that blue ice amazing?!
It's hard to show on camera how massive this thing is. We were able to get really close to it too. The captain said it was the closest he's gotten in a long time, and when he is able to get close usually it's much later in the season. So we were lucky to be so close.
This is another glacier that was next to Hubbard glacier. Hubbard glacier is one of very few glaciers that is growing, rather than receding. This dirty one is receding.
Quite a few very large ice chunks in the water. Whenever a big one like this would hit the boat, I couldn't help but think of the Titanic.
I love that almost see-thru blue color on the ice. It was so neat to see. I really could have just looked at (and snapped a million pictures) the glacier all day.
I know most of these are redundant pictures, but I love how so many of them turned out.
When we first got there it was overcast but clear. We were warned that almost every time they are at the glacier it's really foggy until afternoon and then if we were lucky it would clear and we could see everything really clearly. Fortunate for us, it was clear the entire day. We had an unobstructed view for the few hours we were here. On really clear days, you can see Mount Elias (18,000 ft. above sea level) behind the glacier. We weren't THAT fortunate, but we could see snippets of it.
Anyway, this picture was taken as the sun was starting to come through the clouds. Really shows off the blue ridges.
One of the rivers (behind) that flows into Hubbard glacier
Valleys where there used to be glaciers.
Another giant cruise ship next to the glacier for size comparisons. That cruise ship came in so we ended up leaving about an hour early to let them into the channel.
View exiting the channel.
As we were leaving and headed toward Juneau, we sent the kids to the Fun Factory and then just toured the boat some more. They were showing how to ice sculpture. This guy was making a bear.
Afterward they throw all the ice into the cold pool and do a polar bear plunge. I forgot to mention that one of my childhood friends parents (he was also my high school principle) was on our cruise. Such a small world. The first day on the boat we were headed to the Fun Factory to check it out and for a split second I thought, "wow, that lady looks like a Goulding". Later Connie said Rob and Sally Goulding were on the ship with their oldest daughter (that's who I saw at the fun factory, Robby, is her name, I think - she's was a few years older than me so I don't know her that well). They were all cruising together before Robby's oldest son left for his mission. We saw them multiple times on this trip. It was fun to see some familiar Hurricane faces. Such a small world!!
ANYWAY, I tend to get off on tangents. One of these boys is that soon-to-be missionary.
Throughout the week they have weird random characters that walk around and you can pose next to.
I took about 50 pictures (using sport mode) while slowly moving the camera along the glacier, and when we got back I put all those pictures into Photoshop was hoping it could magically glue them all together. Well, it worked and it was really easy!!! It took the computer about an hour to put them all together, but the end result is this awesome panoramic shot of the glacier. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the entire thing (missing about 1/4 of it on the right) because of our boat position at the time, but still pretty cool. This is as big as I can get it on the blog too, because it won't fit on the page, but when it's in the original size, it's pretty impressive.