|The Thorne Bay market was closed.|
Unfortunately, that meant powdered milk
(the girls call it "fake milk") for cereal in
the morning. Fortunately, none of us
had to shed our cork boots or handguns.
I thought at first I was looking at a boat, a big, white cabin cruiser in the distance, anchored at the base of more green mountains. Then it was closer, our first iceberg, and it was otherworldly.
I know, just frozen water, but massive, sculpted blocks of the stuff floating where we sailed, was magical.As we entered Tracy Arm—a winding, narrow, 30-mile fjord off Holkham Bay—ice was everywhere. The icebergs and bergy bits were easy to spot, but the smaller growlers demanded hours with one of us at the helm, hand steering, and the other on the bow, focusing ahead.
Like our trip up the Princess Louisa Inlet to Chatterbox Falls, the steep, glacier-carved mountains were streaked with waterfalls thousands of feet up. Fifty feet from shore, the water was 300 feet deep; in the middle of the half-mile-wide channel, it is over 1,000 feet. Yet the color of the water, a milky turquoise from meltwater, belied the depth.
|I didn't get as close as it appears,|
these things can turn-turtle
A deep boom and CRACK! sounded over the kunk-kunk-kunk of our engine to announce the white cloud of ice we’d already seen. Then, with a splash, a new iceberg pitched and rolled in the cold water at the base of the glacier, finding its equilibrium. We floated in-place for an hour, taking pictures and taking it all in.The South Sawyer Glacier is larger and known to be more active (meaning it calves more icebergs). This was evident as we approached; the channel was almost completely clogged. Two hours later, moving forward at less than half-a-knot, we were within a quarter mile of the face, but the size of the thing and the landscape that framed it, interrupted the scale of everything, making it seem like we were within a hundred yards.
|This is the last-known picture of our|
clan before we'd see our first iceberg.
This is good-weather summertime
cruising in Southeast Alaska. The girls
are reading and learning on the bow,
Windy's relaxing in her favorite
hot-pink bean bag.
|Here it is, South Sawyer Glacier up Tracy Arm.|
|The girls love nosing up to waterfalls. It was more|
than 100 feet deep here.
|Del Viento tied up in pretty Petersburg.|