I woke up early the first night of our Alaska cruise. It was light outside; I went up on deck to enjoy the wilderness and the quiet. From the photo capture time, at 4:32 am in July, Alaska has enough sunlight to see these mountains and a glacier.
At breakfast we got underway. By 8:00 we had crossed the inlet and were sailing up a fjord with steep sides.
We passed granite domes and a cascade. The ship moved close to the shore so we could see the mountainside of polished granite.
An hour later we passed this blue berg, a sign that we’re nearing a glacier.
Another hour later we saw the South Sawyer Glacier. A tidewater glacier, it flows to the ocean and calves, generating icebergs.
The glacier calved with a loud crack, sending up a splash. We later learned that a passenger on a small boat fell and broke her leg that morning when the glacier calved close to her boat.
A zodiac boat passed close to where the glacier was calving. Compare the calving photo with the zodiac photo below. The large, blue iceberg in the zodiac picture wasn’t present in the earlier calving photo, so it calved while we were there. The visible part of iceberg is much taller than the person standing in the zodiac, and only a seventh of the iceberg is above the water.
Later in the afternoon we went out in a zodiac, getting a closer view of icebergs and a rock with colorful, folded veins.
In this view of icebergs and the glacier from the zodiac, there’s a small boat to the left of the blue, pointed iceberg. Click on any photo in this post to enlarge it.
Our ship cruised through Tracy Arm Fjord for over two hours to reach the Sawyer Glacier. Per wikipedia, the Tracy Arm Fjord is “over 30 miles (48 km) long”.
On first day of our Alaska cruise, we sailed up a 30-mile-long fjord and saw a clean glacier calving blue icebergs into the sea.