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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Alaskan Caching Cruise - Day 5: Glacier Bay

Well this took a little longer to get posted, but here we are.

OK, back to the adventure. Departing our most northern port of call in Skagway, we next headed further north into Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. As we first made our way into the park the clouds and fog were thick and we were quite concerned we'd not see some of the amazing sights we were hoping for.

Never-minding the weather, like a true Canadian, I bundled up after breakfast and went out on the lower bow viewing area to enjoy the salt air on my face and the beauty of the North.

As we continued northward, naturalists from the US Parks Service on board the ship (live, from the Crow's Nest coffee lounge) began sharing stories of the area, local heritage, and wildlife.

We passed grey whales, puffins, and increasing chunks of ice as the bay and fjords slowly narrowed on our way to Margerie Glacier.

At first the glaciers we could see (Reid, Lamplaugh) seemed quite distant from the boat, but were still spectacular to view. Would this be as close as we'll get to the glaciers here? We had hoped to get up close to Johns Hopkins Glacier but had been told that due to seal calving season we couldn't enter the fjord.

The ship took a slow and steady pace continuing northwards, and the weather continued to get better and better, and the views increasingly beautiful.

And soon we were able to take in the sight of the Johns Hopkins Glacier dipping into the Pacific - even from a distance a spectacular sight that brought a hush to the outside of the ship - all you could hear were shutters snapping and admirers whispering to each other.

The striped colours created by rock stripped from the mountains moved along in this glacier brought so many of the earthcaches (glacial erratics, anyone?) I've worked through before to life in a vivid and unforgettable way.

And onwards yet we cruised past more amazing glacial sights as us lucky passengers were held spellbound by these arctic wonders.

And soon we had arrived at our final stop; our most northerly waypoint of the cruise, Margerie Glacier. Extending through both Canada and the US into the icy waters of Glacier Bay, this was not only an amazing place to stop, but the ship was able to actually get very close to the glacier.

We stayed here for about an hour at this point. The sun was out in full, and many were debating whether to grab lunch, or just stand on the deck in amazement. Well, Mrs. LANMonkey and two of her new Geocaching friends decided the best option was to quickly go back to the cabins, and then return ready to complete the Earthcache here.

Oh, did I mention they were working on the Earthcache from the hot tub?

Now THAT'S cruise-ship geocaching in style!

So after enjoying ourselves at Marjorie Glacier, it was time for lunch as our ship began it's way back south. South, and eventually home, but not before one last Alaskan port of call.

Next stop?


Thanks for reading our blog, and stay tuned as the adventures continue!

Cache safely, and cache often.