Sunday, May 27, 2007

Day 2: Tracy Arm

Bald Eagle, Tracy Arm, Alaska

Both got woken at 4 am by the motion of the boat changing and ominous scraping noises along the side of the hull. We were entering the Tracy Arm area, due south of Juneau, where ice break-off from the glaciers was starting to appear in the channel.

Early in the morning, we caught the sight of a bald eagle sitting on a big chunk of ice just watching the world go by. Fantastic stuff, but it left me wishing a) I’d brought my longer fixed lens and b) hadn’t forgotten to reset the ISO from 800 where I had it the evening before to catch a shot of a passing whale. Bummer. I cursed Canon – and not for the first time - for not putting ISO indication in the viewfinder.

Spend the morning zig-zagging our way up the Fjord to the Sawyer glacier, which revealed itself as a spectacular wall of blue and white ice rising ahead of us.

We were fortunate also to see a couple of large calving events where big chunks of ice fell away from the main flow into the water.

The ship then turned round and headed back towards Fredrick Sound, pausing only for an hour spent boating around in an inflatable, or at least, that was the plan ….

The first set of three boats went out, taking a block of 30 passengers out towards waterfalls and the rock face. Right at that point, a small rock fall occurred and one elderly lady was hit by a chunk of granite sustaining some kind of painful – albeit relatively minor – injury...

Change of plan: the ship now returned to Juneau, docking in the evening, so the passenger could get proper treatment. We put to sea again around 3:30 am, heading back to where we were originally scheduled to be the next day. Everyone took the change in schedule well and fortunately we weren’t that far from our original starting point.

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