Glacier Bay National Park – Part 1

Wednesday July 8- we entered Glacier Bay National Park around 1:30 pm.

In 1925, President Coolidge established the area as Glacier Bay National Monument. In 1980 under President Jimmy Carter, the Bay became a National Park and Preserve, encompassing 3.3 million acres of mountains, glaciers, forests and waterways. It is part of a 25 million acre World Heritage Site. One of the world’s largest protected natural areas.

In 2019, Glacier Bay welcomed more than 640,000 visitors.

Glaciers are basically ice in motion. When it snows in higher elevations, the massive amounts of snow compact, forming ice. Gravity influences the ice to slide down the mountainside. A few glaciers are called “tidewater glaciers”, they reach all the way to the ocean. These glaciers have a cycle advance and retreat.

In 2001, a pregnant whale named Snow was struck and instantly killed by a cruise ship. Below is her skeleton.

We departed the Visitor Center around 3:30pm, headed towards our anchor spot at South Sandy Cove West, where we spent the night.

Thursday July 9- we traveled up the East Arm towards Muir Inlet. Adams Inlet and the majority of Muir Inlet were closed to all motorized vessels. Select other inlets also have similar restricted dates for motorized vessels and cruise ships.

Riggs Glacier

Wachusett Inlet, the water was so blue down there, I called it Glacier Blue. After 5 miles as the fog was rolling in and visibility was getting low, we turned around headed for Sebree Cove, where we’ll drop anchor for the night.

Friday July 10- anchor up by 10am. Traveling slow today hoping the fog will lift as day progresses. First point of interest, going up the Tidal Inlet on the West Arm.

We anchored for the night, in Reid Inlet, about 1 mile from the Reid Glacier.

Saturday July 11- the boat was moved closer to the Reid Glacier this morning, we lowered the dinghy and went ashore. We walked on the glacier! Later we traveled the West Arm to the Johns Hopkins Inlet and saw the Lamplugh, Gillman and Johns Hopkins Glaciers.

Johns Hopkins Glacier calved 5 different times when we were there. First we heard cracking, then a loud boom like fireworks before the ice fell into the water.

It’s been very quiet here in the Bay. Today is the first day we was another boat, Nancy and Art on s/v Second Wind from Oregon. They socially distanced walked the glacier also this morning. Later we spoke on the radio with Giorgio and Jan s/v Jan from Mississippi. The three of us are all anchored for the night back in Reid Inlet.

16 thoughts on “Glacier Bay National Park – Part 1

  1. Oh my! What breath taking views and pictures you took!!! Are you able to fish and make yourselves some dinner? What are your temps right now?

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    1. We didn’t get a fishing license in Alaska, so haven’t been fishing. The temperature range has been 40’s to mid 60’s. Wearing my winter coat and fleece lined tights!

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      1. Burrr! Not sure if you need them right now, but do you have any hand warmers left? LOL I have to say, I actually love those temps. So much better than the humidity we’ve had here on most days. LOVE those glaciers!!

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  2. I’ve never been to Alaska so these pics and the description is amazing especially John Hopkins Glacier. Thanks for being a great tour guide 🙌

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  3. Beyond amazing Marlene and Dan…thank you again for sharing this epic journey with us through photos and maps and descriptions of the sights, sounds, tastes and temperatures. Sending love and safe sailing wishes. Les

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  4. Your journey just continues to amaze!!! We have been to Alaska and have been in some of the areas you have been. Brings back very fond memories. Your journal is just beyond belief. Can’t compliment you enough!!! You truly have a way of describing things, Marlene, so we feel we are there!! Continue your journey, and be safe and healthy, and continue sending your pictures and narrative!! Truly love it!!

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