Monday, August 15, 2016
This is another day at sea, another rainy day at sea, another cold day at sea. The days here are getting longer as we travel further north – today we experienced almost 15.5 hours of daylight, and almost 2.5 minutes of sunshine.
Hubbard Glacier is 75 miles long and covers 1,350 square miles of land. It is the largest tidewater glacier in North America, with a 300 foot wall of ice rising from the ocean. Hubbard has been advancing for the last 100 years, and is considered a “healthy” glacier, one that is growing rather than receding. In May 1986, it blocked the outlet of Russell Fjord, creating Russell Lake. The water level rose over 80 feet. A few months later, the dam gave way and over 5 billion cubic yards of water gushed through in 24 hours, reconnecting the fjord to the ocean.
As we got closer to the glacier, we saw more and more icebergs floating near the ship. There were white bergs, blue bergs, silt filled bergs, and mixes of all three types.
We noticed icebergs popping up and down in the water as they split apart. We heard the glacier crack and split several times and were fortunate to witness some calving. Very impressive.
By early afternoon, we left the glaciers for our final sail toward Anchorage where we will be docking tomorrow.
Almost as exciting as the glacier was the glimpse of sunshine this afternoon. We could even venture outside for a short time without bundling up.