Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dodging Ice in Le Conte Bay

Saturday, June, 10

Le Conte Glacier in Frederick Sound was our first destination out of Petersburg. It’s the southernmost tidewater glacier in North America, and 2,000 harbor seals reportedly live in the bay and raise their pups on the glacier icebergs.

We were all thrilled when we saw our first piece of glacier ice floating out in Frederick Sound at 12:50 pm before we even made it into the bay. Within minutes we were surrounded by ice – little bergies that had broken from the glacier were everywhere.

We zigzagged our way up to Le Conte Bay, hoping to reach the end so we could see the glacier, but there was just too much ice blocking our way through the last leg. In the meantime, it still was a most spectacular experience.

The azure blue color of the ice was further dramatized by the vast variety of shapes of ice we saw floating by. Sharon saw an iced Donald Duck and Jaws, I saw dolphins and mushrooms,, and Jim saw a Mexican sombrero. I think Roland just saw a minefield of deadly sharp, hard torpedoes his bright new paint job, or worse, put a hole through the hull.

The entire spectacle had Roland and I snapping more than 400 photos, and before leaving the bay, he grabbed a junk of glacier ice to throw in the cooler.

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Engelenbak is a custom-built 62-foot steel trawler ... designed to cruise anywhere in the world.