Friday, July 30, 2010

13 Glaciers in Harriman Fjord … Better Than Glacier Bay!

 Monday, July 19

On Monday morning, after puling anchor around 8:30 and heading up Port Wells into Barry Arm, we were immediately struck by the view ahead – a wall of glaciers intermixed with sheer, rugged mountains capped with snow and ribbons of clouds suspended along the face.

Three glaciers come together in a spectacular view at the juncture of Barry Arm and Harriman Fjord, where Cascade, Barry and Coxe Glaciers form a terminus.

We navigated around Point Doran, where an old moraine creates a shallow shoal that we definitely wanted to avoid, and continued up Harriman Fjord …. home to 6 tidal glaciers, 7 “hanging” glaciers (not at sea level), and an endless number of cascading waterfalls carved into every crack and crevice along the entire fjord.

We anchored the boat on a 4-fathom shelf on the northeast shore … dropped the skiff for an hour … and weeded our way through a field of icebergs and bergy bits to within a half mile of the face of Surprise Glacier. 

We had been warned time and again about the dangers of waves caused by calving glaciers, so when we heard the first CRACK of thunder coming from the glacier and saw tons of ice plunging into the water along its face … we needed no more surprises from Surprise Glacier … and quickly move further wary from the face.

Photos cannot capture the sheer scale of the glaciers and waterfalls carved in this rugged terrain … it’s a treat for the eyes and a vista that is best appreciated with all five senses … in person.

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