Alaska || Part Eight

Alaska WildernessWe woke up bright and early the next morning as we sailed up a small bay filled with blue icebergs towards the Hubbard Glacier. We were scheduled to arrive at the glacier around 7 am that morning so H and I piled on as many layers as we could, grabbed our gloves and cameras and headed over to Helen and Walter’s balcony to watch the scenery. Hubbard Glacier Forest Waterfall MistMisty Mountains Alaska Hubbard Misty Mountains Hubbard Glacier Cruise The forests and mountains of Disenchantment Bay were majestically draped in thick mist as we silently cruised by that early morning.Forest Mountain Alaska As we approached the glacier, the temperature dropped lower and lower and small parts of glacial ice could be seen on the surrounding mountains.Hubbard Glacier Iceberg We passed hundreds of blue and white icebergs in the water and, as we closed in on the glacier, they multiplied in size and quantity. Helen and I were admiring the various patterns of blue and white stripes on one iceberg when she suddenly spotted something black in the water right under our balcony…Alaska Black Bear swimming in water Grizzly Bear in Alaska OceanA BEAR! Poor bear seemed absolutely terrified of our ship and paddled as fast as he could to get away from us. Throughout the entire trip, I had been hoping rather than expecting to see an Alaskan bear but to see one right under our balcony… WOAH! We were all speechless and frozen in shock! It took me almost a full minute to grab my camera and snap some quick shots before he had sailed out of view. Our captain made a quick announcement that in the ten years he had been sailing our ship, he had never seen a bear so far out in the water or come so close to a cruise ship. I joked with Helen that we could have called it a day then and I would have been happy. But thankfully we continued to sail on further up the bay…Vertical Alaska Hubbard Glacierand finally met the glacier in all it’s blue-veined majesty! With the thick fog that morning we weren’t sure whether we would be able to get very close to the glacier but thankfully the fog clung to the surrounding mountains and we were able to get right up to the legal limit allowed for cruise ships.Hubbard Glacier Celebrity MillenniumBlue Alaska Glacier September 2014I’ve struggled with how to put this experience to words… as you approach a glacier of this size, you have an eerie sense that you are approaching some sleeping beast. The glacier is constantly calving (pieces breaking off and floating away as icebergs) which makes a loud crashing and/or thundering sound. The effect is so loud it can make you tremble when you are close. Soil Vein Hubbard GlacierMost of the ice and veining you see when you approach the glacier is ice that is estimated to be roughly 400 years old! The dark striped patterns almost seem like veins in a rock.Hubbard Glacier Close Up SeptemberThen we saw our first majoring calving…Major Hubbard Glacier Calvingdropping…Waterfall Calving on Hubbard Glaciercrashing…
Major Hubbard Glacier Alaska Calvingplummeting…Major Hubbard Alaska Calving IIsettling…Hubbard Glacier September 2014 Calving IIinto the water below. The calving made the entire bay fill with loud, crashing thunder and caused waves of water to ripple away, carrying all the icebergs further out towards the ocean. Misty Hubbard Glacier September 2014Vertical Hubbard GlacierMisty Alaska Hubbard GlacierStriping on Hubbard GlacierThough these icebergs may not seem very big – many of them are larger than 15 ft in length!Hubbard Glacier Alaska CloseHubbard Glacier CalvingThis tiny calving led to…Alaska Hubbard Glacier CalvingSOME MAJOR CALVING!Hubbard Glacier September 2014 CalvingWhich went on for over a minute!Blue Hubbard Glacier CalvingAnd then continued to spout and trickle out for almost half an hour after.Close Up of Hubbard GlacierBlue Stripe Vein Hubbard Glacier AlaskaBlue Mist Hubbard Glacier AlaskaBlue Hubbard Glacier veinsAren’t the patterns formed by the blue veins mesmerizing?
Sed Bona at the Hubbard GlacierSneaky Hubby snapped up a shot of me in all my 7:30 am glory while at the glacier… thanks babe. Celebrity Cruise Elephant TowelAfter staying at the glacier for over an hour and sipping hot chocolates on deck, we all headed down for some brunch and even more hot chocolate to warm up. On formal nights, Celebrity will make and leave you a special ‘towel animal’ on your bed. Our towel elephant from the night before was so adorable I resolved to move him as gently as possible and snap a photo of him in daylight. Meet Trunks, our fluffy friend!Celebrity Millennium Rainy BalconyThe rest of our final day cruising was spent sailing towards Seward in heavy rain, as seen from our balcony above.Sed Bona Milkmaid BraidSo we drank more hot chocolates (this time with Amaretto) and Helen braided my hair into a large swirl around my head. Is there anyone who doesn’t love to have their hair braided? I felt like a kid again!Celebrity Millennium Blu Crab SaladThat evening we ate our last meal together — shared over many glasses of martinis and wine — while we reminisced about our wild adventures. How was our vacation already over!? It’s a truth universally acknowledged that whenever you want time to pass slowly, it will only accelerate in speed. And thus, in the blink of an eye, we had reached the end of our journey wondering where our long vacation had gone.Early Morning Cruise Port SewardOur final morning in Alaska began very hectically at 5 am when we reached the port in Seward. One of the reasons H and I always pack only in carry-ons is because many cruises give you the option to walk off with all your belongings (but you must be able to carry everything). So we ate our final breakfast with Helen and Walter, said our teary good-byes, and walked off the ship towards our bus to Anchorage among the quiet misty mountains near the port.Seward Port September 2014

Alaska, your wild terrain, beautiful landscapes, delicious fresh seafood, and abundant wildlife made for one of the most profound adventures! H and I hope to return in the future and discover more of your breath-taking soulful secrets.

More of our Alaskan adventures can be read here:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

Official Sed Bona Signature
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