Monday, August 15, 2011
Beloit Glacier at Blackstone Bay, Prince William Sound, Alaska
First, I hope you are not tired yet of another "icy" post. If you are, I will warn ahead that there will be more. However, as much as possible, I alternate my glaciers post with other non-icy post, they are my icebreakers :) These days, I am 100% taking advantage of summer enjoying the ocean's waves, where I shared a poem of what I feel like when I am "One With The Wave" in my 3 months old Breathe In...Breathe Out blog. I am taking advantage of my lack of taking photos these days by sharing photos from our summer trip in Alaska.
Now, moving on to Beloit Glacier, another tidewater glacier in Blackstone Bay which is actually not that much farther from Blackstone Glacier which I shared in my previous post. How close are Blackstone Glacier and Beloit Glacier to each other? The answer is in the picture below.
Beloit Glacier and Blackstone Glacier
Beloit Glacier is on the left side while Blackstone Glacier is on the right side of the picture. I used an arrow to point to a waterfall in Blackstone glacier, hoping you would recognize it after seeing the up close picture of Beloit Glacier with the waterfall in my previous post. Our Major Marine Tours cruise ship took us up to about half a mile to the glacier, but for safety reasons, we could not come closer. Here are more pictures as we got closer to Beloit Glacier.
On our way to Beloit Glacier, we saw a lot of valley glacier and cirque glacier.A cirque glacier is a small glacier that occupies a bowl shaped depression between mountain valleys. Alaska has a lot of them, often unnamed. Valley glaciers, like the one above are also called hanging or alpine glaciers. They are glaciers that flow down out of mountain valleys, generally larger at the head and smaller at the base. The terminus of the valley glacier is above sea level.
Floating Ice as we get closer to Beloit Glacier
Beloit glacier is a tidewater glacier or a fjord glacier, it is actually also a valley glacier but occupies a fjord and the terminus lie below sea level and has an almost vertical face often more than 1000 ft high. Tidewater glaciers shed off huge chunks of glacial age called calving.
Beloit Glacier and Waterfalls
When we were closer to Beloit Glacier, the sound of the many waterfalls around it was so soothing.
Some of the Waterfalls Up Close
The feeling of looking at the 1,700 ft tall glacier above us, and sometimes hearing the thunderous sound of calving was beyond words of describing. It was our first time to be that close (half a mile away) to a towering sea of ice and it was overwhelming. It is during this kind of moment usually that I fail to think properly how to take pictures, I just simply am immersed with the surroundings. How can we freeze and bring home the beauty of nature that we see? We can't!
Nature's Ice Scuplture, Beloit Glacier Up Close
No pictures we have for me brought any justice to the majestic scenery. But I am glad at least I brought home some pictures to see again, to relive our experience of being there, and imagine the sounds we heard. As we left Beloit Glacier and headed back towards Whittier Port, we saw these two courageous kayakers who were approaching the glacier.
Kayakers Approaching Beloit Glacier
Perhaps it is a lot more different experience for them since they are really approaching the glacier much closer, however, after hearing the thunderous sound of calving, and seeing waterfall rushing underneath the glacier,
Stream of water and ice rushing out underneath the glacier
I was glad I was in the safety of coast guard certified Emerald Sea with a National Park Ranger inside. I am not daring and adventurous enough to kayak very close to a tidewater glacier, where the glacier can send huge masses of ice down to you anytime. On our way back to Whittier Port, our sightseeing did not end, because everything we see was something different from what we normally see.
With humpbacks and orca whales in the water, our camera did not get a chance to rest all, except when we wanted to have some foods!
Humpback whale( see the bird next to it?)
Kittiwakes and Waterfall
Kittiwakes are actually member of the gull family. Kittiwakes are coastal breeding birds that secure their nests to the sheer cliffs. This bird is common throughout Southcental Alaska.
Hope you had enjoyed my two posts on Blackstone Bay at Prince William Sound, Blackstone Glacier and today's post, Beloit Glacier.
Happy weekend everyone.......