Saturday, July 14, 2012

Aialik Glacier Tour

Today we did another boat cruise! Last one we didn't get to see the glacier we went to up close because of the ice. Plus this one ends with an all you can eat Prime Rib and Salmon Buffet!
And this time we saw Orcas or Killer Whales!  They were pretty active in the water and there were a bunch of males a mom and some new borns.
 Whale's Tail!
Tiny baby Orca with dad on the left and moms on the right.

Aialik Glacier hasn't changed much in hundreds of years. It isn't advancing or retreating. It is moving but at a rate that is the same as new ice is forming at the top of the glacier.

The other tour boat gives you a reference to how big it is.
We get about 1/4 of a mile away from the face of the glacier. The face is about 1 mile wide.
Captain Steve cuts the engine and we listen to the sounds of the ice cracking and moving.

And we get to see some calving (when large chunks of ice fall off into the water).

The cameras on the boat all go crazy every time one falls.
Everyone expected the big chunk to the right of this shower of ice and to the left of that big crack to fall but it never did.

That crack slowly got bigger and I bet it fell sometime that day or the next.

The sound is pretty cool and the falling ice creates waves in the water and of course icebergs.

We also see more Puffins, this time I manage to get some better pictures than on our last cruise.
 I am not a Penguin!
And we get to see baby sea lions, which we didn't see on the last boat tour.

We pull into Fox Island for our dinner and the food is good. There is also a National Park Ranger presentation and some animal skulls and sea otter fur (which is crazy soft).

And a lot of cakes and snacks!  I am sure two pieces of prime rib and salmon and 5 desserts was too much food!

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