Day 23 (July 13) – Glacier/Wildlife Cruise

Finally the big day for our cruise on the Lulubelle with Capt. Fred Rodolf to the Columbia Glacier. The day before there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but on this morning we woke up to low clouds and drizzle, but it turned out to be a fine day for a cruise anyways. Leaving Valdez we passed by sea otters, bald eagles and sea lions. We didn’t have any luck in finding puffins and whales. The warm weather the day before had resulted in a tremendous amount of ice calving off the glacier leaving the fjord jam packed with ice floes. We were only able to get within a mile and a half of the glacier. It was still very impressive to see an actual tidewater glacier, in this case the fourth largest one in Alaska.

Coming on board the Lulubelle

Coming on board the Lulubelle

Our Captain and host for the trip.

Our Captain and host for the trip.

 

Part of the Valdez fishing fleet.

Part of the Valdez fishing fleet.

Leaving Valdez Harbor

Leaving Valdez Harbor

Sea Otters hard at work doing what they do.

Sea Otters hard at work doing what they do.

Falls from a glacier hidden above in the clouds.

Falls from a glacier hidden above in the clouds.

The Captain sailed the Lulubelle in to several sea caves looking for puffins, but we didn't find any.

The Captain sailed the Lulubelle in to several sea caves looking for puffins, but we didn’t find any.

Sea Lions on a beach

Sea Lions on a beach

Started seeing more ice bergs as we headed to the Columbia Glacier.

Started seeing more ice bergs as we headed to the Columbia Glacier.

Approaching the Glacier

Approaching the Glacier

Looking up one of the ice streams

Looking up one of the ice streams

At our closest approach they took our picture.

At our closest approach they took our picture.

Harbor Seal resting on ice floe

Harbor Seal resting on ice floe

Part of the main ice face at our closest approach

Part of the main ice face at our closest approach

More of the ice face.

More of the ice face.

Once in a while we would get a glimpse of the higher peaks feeding the glaciers.

Once in a while we would get a glimpse of the higher peaks feeding the glaciers.

This ice berg seems to be covered with sun cups

This ice berg seems to be covered with sun cups

In between the ice floes the water was nearly calm creating interesting reflections.

In between the ice floes the water was nearly calm creating interesting reflections.

On the way back we caught up with the Alaska Ferry heading into Valdez.

On the way back we caught up with the Alaska Ferry heading into Valdez.

Back in Valdez Harbor

Back in Valdez Harbor

The Terminus of the Alaska Pipeline.

The Terminus of the Alaska Pipeline.

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