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
Our Captain and host for the trip.
Part of the Valdez fishing fleet.
Leaving Valdez Harbor
Sea Otters hard at work doing what they do.
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.
Sea Lions on a beach
Started seeing more ice bergs as we headed to the Columbia Glacier.
Approaching the Glacier
Looking up one of the ice streams
At our closest approach they took our picture.
Harbor Seal resting on ice floe
Part of the main ice face at our closest approach
More of the ice face.
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
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.
Back in Valdez Harbor
The Terminus of the Alaska Pipeline.