This National Park is larger than many of our states and also the country of Portugal. When we purchased Alaska for two cents an acre from Russia, it was consider a fool's folly by many. But when gold and other minerals were discovered; Americans moved here by the thousands. When the minerals were gone they discovered oil fields. This land continues to bring benefits to our country.
John Muir was very instrumental in keeping Glacier Bay in its natural state. In 1925 it was declared a National Monument and 1980 it was made into a National Park. The massive glaciers are rapidly disappearing. In 1750 it was at its maximum. In 45 years they had melted back five miles. Ten years ago there only 12 glaciers that touch the ocean, today there are only 4 still calving into the ocean and it is predicted that most of these will disappear in another 4 or so years due to global warming.
Today I was up before 6 am and on the walking deck by 6 am. At 6:30 I filmed the arrival of the National Park Rangers who will be with us all day. Only two cruise ships per day are allowed in the Park. They pull up to our ship which has slowed down but not stopped, and climb up a rope ladder to board our vessel on the first deck.
Then I went up to the Crow Nest Lounge to watch for wildlife with other passengers, some who had began arriving there at 5 am to garner the best seats. The hardy ones bundled up in coats, hats and gloves plus sunglasses and their cameras and binoculars to brave the elements for the mornings adventure. Being outside also gave you the cracking of the ice when we reached the glaciers.
By 7 am I was back in the room and then Jim and I headed for the dining room and another fabulous breakfast before again joining those passengers in the crowd nest for the magic deep in the park. I got another great photo when I was trying to catch the calving action and they announced a rare event. There was a bald eagle on a small iceberg directly in front of the ship. I moved my lens towards the bird and captured its flight as it headed towards the sky. Took way too many photos but had a once in a lifetime experience.
We took time for a light lunch before heading to the theater for a ranger talk and then one by a Tlingit woman, a member of the tribes that have called Glacier Bay their home for hundreds of years.
Tonight is a dress up Gala Dinner and then classical music concert for Jim and I'm going to the singing and dancing group in the theater. Hard to believe tomorrow is the last day. We'll be at sea all day and arrive in Seward on Sunday morning. Then we will take a bus to Anchorage for the third portion of our trip. I'll post this on Sunday.