Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

August 18, 2016

 

We arrived in Juneau on 29 July and were lucky enough to be able to fit in an unplanned side trip to Glacier Bay National Park.  The Lodge in the park had space and the ferry dates worked so on Monday 1 August we jumped on the Le Conte ferry to Gustavus, saw whales along the way and were met by the Lodge bus and driven the 10+ miles to the National Park. 

 

After a quick bath (real luxury), we went to the park introduction and then took a walk along the waterfront and then along the forest trail to a beautiful lake.  A quiet and reflective place, plenty of berries everywhere, including the beach strawberry (delicious) and the very poisonous baneberry (6 small berries can leave you in a serious condition).

 

The following day we were up early for the National Park boat tour of Glacier Bay on the Baranof.  The day started with an amazing display from a humpback whale that breached 7 times, an unusual occurrence in itself.  At  South Marble Island we saw sea-lions, seals, murres, gulls, pelagic cormorants, puffins - watch the shot of the seal jumping and spot the bird in the bottom corner - it's caught a fish!

 

From there we caught site of a mountain goat high up in Gloomy Knob and then a large male brown bear on the beach, followed by a female with three cubs.

 

The first glacier we passed was Lamplugh, before heading further into Glacier Bay and Johns Hopkins Glacier, which was calving ice, but not caught on camera.  Ice floes close to the glacier face protected seals and their pups from the Orca's, which we fleetingly saw. 

 

Heading back we were lucky enough to catch a Black Oystercatcher with its orange beak and rafts of sea-otters with their babies, bobbing along on their backs.

 

We finished the day with a walk up to Bartlett Lake  and were fortunate to see even more wildlife, a porcupine, a squirrel munching on a mushroom, a quail and a battered vehicle that seemed to have come second in a fight with a very large mammal, possibly a moose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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