Saturday, July 28, 2012

Alaska -- Day 72

We took a 7 1/2 hour cruise out of Seward to Kenai Fjords National Park with Major Marine Cruises. Other than driving to Exit Glacier here in Seward, the only way to access the park is by boat. It was a wonderful day. Everyone has assigned seating at tables inside the heated cabin, so you have somewhere to spend the day, or somewhere to store your stuff while you go outside to watch the scenery.

Even most of the young children on board were interested most of the day.

It was a beautiful, sunny day. However, the wind off of Resurrection Bay and the Gulf of Alaska is cold, so we were really bundled up.

There was some fog. It obscured our view for a short while, but since that was while we were enjoying our salmon and prime rib, all-you-can-eat buffet, that was OK. At other times, the fog just made for pretty views.

We saw a number of humpback whales, sometimes 2 or 3 together. They flipped their tails for us.

Blew air spouts.

Look at close we came to one of them. I don't think my camera was even zoomed for this shot. It was really cool.

We also saw sea otters. At one point, Dan, the US Park Service ranger who was our interpreter for the trip, called this group of 24 or more otters a "raft." He said it was unusual to see so many at one time.

We also saw this pair of adults with a baby sitting on one of them.

This old fellow (Eskimos called the aging, white-faced sea otters, "old men") posed for us, rolling over several times.

We also saw a number of glaciers. This is Bear glacier, the largest in Kenai Fjords NP.

Look at the towering face of Holbrook glacier. We sat in front of it for some time, listening to the ice crack and watching a few small calving events.

We sat for a long time in front of Aialik glacier. Look at how still the water was. We had great reflections of the ice.

Aialik is a very noisy glacier. We heard lots of cracks, often sounding like gun shots. We saw numerous calving events (when a chunk of ice breaks off the glacier). Notice all the chunks of ice floating on the water surface.

The splash would settle down.

We weren't the only boat load of tourists out, enjoying the glacier action. This boat was a little smaller than the one we were on. There were also other, even smaller, boats out there.

Then the waves from the calving would make our boat roll. It is really dramatic.

We also were treated to harbor seals sunning on the rocks.

Stellar sea lions and birds, as well.

Last, but not least, a jelly fish.


  1. Great shots of the whales!

  2. Beautiful trip. Something else to put on the "To Do " list!

  3. Loved the pictures it sure is beautiful there.

  4. These are probably the prettiest pictures I've ever seen on a blog. You even got the tail flip of a humpback. Just gorgeous.