Friday, June 5, 2009

Glacier Bay... and surrounding area

Danny and I just completed a 12 day trip from Juneau, to Glacier Bay, down Chatham Strait a little ways, and then back to Juneau, totaling about 430 miles (nautical miles). In the beginning we knew we didn't quite have enough good food to last the entire trip (we still had food at the end, but didn't want to eat it) but we managed. First to go was candy, then fruit, and then then meat. Of course I don't have a fridge, so the meat wouldn't keep anyways. In Glacier Bay, we saw some cool glaciers calving, which is where the ice falls into the water, but I really didn't like it as much as I thought, because I was driving through ice floes in my boat. Ice makes a terrible sound against boats, and you don't want to drive your own through it. Take someone else's. The wall of ice that falls into the water is really cool, and cold. So even though it was nice and sunny, it was really cold. It rumbles like thunder when it cracks and makes big waves.
After the glaciers, we went south a little bit, and the climate changed dramatically. just 30 miles away from the ice the water and air are so much warmer. We anchored out at this little moraine and went ashore to watch the birds (arctic terns) and I found a Moose's antler. Only one side, but its like 20 lbs and really big.
After the park, we saw some Humpback whales breaching. That is a wonderful sight, but they are really hard to predict where they will come up, so its hard to get a good picture.
In Chatham Strait, we saw some Brown Bears, and we were going to paddle ashore and go hiking around when we saw them on the beach, so I paddled over near them, but still in deep water (deep enough that they would have to swim after me instead of running) and got some pictures, but we didn't go ashore. Its best to avoid the bears, I think, rather than trust your can of bear spray. (we were going to use it like mosquito repellant, and spray it on ourselves, but the cans looked too small)
We did get a visit (in Glacier Bay) from another boat in the American Safari Cruises company, and they brought us Danny's girlfriend, Aimee, for a little while, and about 4 lbs of bacon, some cookies and other food, which were all welcome gifts, also we caught shrimp in the shrimp pot I have. I was amazed at how many we caught in this one place, and how we wouldn't catch any at all in other places. Couverden Island is the place. The last day of the trip we stayed there and pulled up the pot (in 240 ft of water) and unloaded about 3 gallons of shrimp, which we ate between the two of us. I felt like at a mexican resteraunt, where you sit back in the middle of the meal and wonder how you are going to finish it all. but we did. Big ones too, like 9 inches long, was the biggest, I think.


Rachel said...

Awsome Chris!! I wish I could have seen the glaciers with you guys!! I am in Philadelphia racing bikes... hard, but not nearly as fun! I can't wait to hear more!!

Love, your sis,


Matt said...

Did you keep the antlers?