Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cruising To Alaska – Tracy Arm Fjord and the Sawyer Glacier

When on a cruise ship I prefer to be in a warm climate… maybe the Mexican Riviera or the Greek Isles. My wife Kathy however always wanted to cruise to Alaska, so what the heck, we cruised to Alaska to take a peek at the glaciers, bears, and mukluks.

Since we live just outside Portland Oregon we would be able to drive up to Seatle to board the cruise ship and we won't have to deal with Airports.  Kind of a nice change.  Kathy met another couple online that would be going on the same Alaskan cruise and we all decided to drive up to Seatle together and save on gas and parking fees.

My wife's poor little jeep was loaded to the gills with luggage... blame the wives.
No shortage of luggage... I guess you need a lot of clothing when you do a cold weather cruise.



A map of our Alaskan Cruise Adventure, all the big cities like Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway!



Kathy is really enjoying her cruise.  Not getting much of a sun tan though...

Tracy Arm Fjord is often referred to as one of the most dramatic and scenic locations in all of North America. It's within the Tongass National Forest and stretches 25 miles up into the Coastal Range Mountains.

Tracy Arm Fjord is home to Sawyer Glacier. The fjord has 7,000-foot-high mountains dropping almost vertically down to sea level with sheer 1,500-to 2,000-foot walls of granite.

Sawyer Glacier has lots of wildlife including black and brown bears, deer, wolves and moose,  and even mountain goats, which usually keep to higher elevations.


This is our first look at the Sawyer Glacier in the Tracy Arm Fjord



Look! A chunk of ice is foating in the water...



We weren't the only cruise ship in the Fjord that day.





Now we are talking - I'll bet that water isn't very warm.



There were quite a few really beautiful water falls



Within the last 400 years a glacier sat at the mouth of Tracy Arm depositing large amounts of gravel and rock producing a recessional moraine bar which can be seen at low tide.
 
The tidal currents in and out of Tracy Arm have carved a narrow opening through which the ship needs to navigate. On the far side of the bar the water depths increase rapidly to over 1000 feet.
 

The views were really amazing


More spectacular views

Great views even inside



Well, that's it for the Tracy Arm Fjord and the Sawyer Glacier.