in search of Columbia Glacier

Prince William Sound truly is one of the wonders of this world. Can't say we were blessed with good weather during our crossing - but it is gorgeous and sunny as I write from Baja Taco in Cordova, looking out over the blue harbor and snowy mountains - and hundreds of bowpickers.

En route from Whittier to Cordova, we stopped in Columbia Bay behind Glacier Island to try to get a look at Columbia Glacier. There were a lot of icebergs behind Glacier Island and we had to idle up the bay and drive from the bow to watch for ice. There were a lot of happy otters though.
At the mouth of Columbia Bay, there ice fields got so thick that we couldn't get into the bay. We took a side route into Heather Bay and Sila dropped me off in the mud on Moraine Spit. I clambered between the tide-stranded icebergs and mud and tried to get a clear view to the glacier.

The receding tide had left all kinds of strange icey forms on the spit, in shades of blue and white.

With matching seagulls.

Fresh water falling on the sea and flowing off the melting bergs was frozen into a thin sheet of shore ice - which fell also on the falling tide and broke over the rocks on the shore:

In case you ever doubted that ice is hexagonal, look deeply into your screen for gorgeous evidence of volume diffusion creep in glaciers:

We never did get a look at the mighty Columbia. It has receded miles from where it is shown on the 1960's marine charts.

1 comment:

Silver Fox said...

Thanks for the wonderful trip - I always love going to Alaska! Beautiful photos!