Ice, Ice Baby

We woke up to howling wind and snow. Apparently we didn’t fully lock the exterior door to the balcony, so the whole place started howling once the winds got up. We took a look at the TV channel that showed the front of the ship, and the foredeck was covered in snow. This meant it was an excellent chance to ignore everything and go back to bed.

That worked for a while, but eventually the howling and rocking got the best of us, and we dressed and headed to the Book Cafe to get some espresso and watch the sea. Yulia was not liking the storm, but as before the Cafe saw the least amount of motion on the ship, and had good espresso and pastries, so it was a great hiding place. We lasted there until we got actually hungry, then headed up for some breakfast.

The Lido deck was pretty busy. We grabbed food, and sat out by the pool. The pool has a closing roof, so it was all sealed up, and pretty steamy. At least it was warm, with two hot tubs providing the heat and steam. We looked out and could see nothing but fog around us. The snow had stopped, and the foghorn was blowing.

Yulia and I went down a few decks to watch a fruit carving demonstration while Sasha stayed above to hang out and listen to her iPod. The fruit carving was a pretty good way to kill time. We were due at the glacier at 1:00, and we were really just trying to keep busy until then.

We went back up to meet Sasha, and she was scanning the windows looking for ice. As soon as we turned into the fjord of the glacier, Sasha saw ice floating and started taking pictures. The icebergs weren’t that large, and were pretty dirty, but they were amazing to see. We went back to the cabin to get some warm clothes and raingear on, so we could watch from the lower deck and foredeck.

As we moved into the fjord, park rangers began explaining the area around. There were two glaciers in this fjord, Hubbard Glacier, which was very large, and really clean ice, and a second glacier to the side which was really dirty, and I don’t remember the name. As chunks of ice broke off, seals and their pups would swim up on the ice and hide from Orca whales. We looked out and sure enough you could see seals on the ice surrounding the boat.

One of the Rangers was a native who explained the cultural significance of the glacier by relaying the creation myth of The Birth Of Raven. This was an amazing, moving story that really gave one the feel of the importance of the area. To everyone but me, of course, since I had found the booze cart at this time and was half a glass of cognac down at this point. I tried to ignore the talking on the loudspeaker since the learning was really harshing my buzz, and focused on trying to get some photos of Orcas eating the baby seals, but no one was cooperating.

I did get some great views of the ice. The size was amazing. Once the ship stopped and turned near the ice, we went back to our room since our balcony was in the perfect spot for photos. It was quieter in our room as well, and you could hear the massive ice crack, then see little landslides flow down the face of the glacier. In this case, “little” means “size of my house”.

The ship left after a few hours, and started heading South again. This was as far North as we would go. We spent the rest of the evening playing around the ship. Sasha got to meet the club DJ and he gave her a tour of his booth and equipment, I won a trivia contest in the pub by knowing 9 out of 10 Game Show theme songs (I wasn’t sure if i was proud or ashamed), we caught a comedian playing in the theater (utterly shaming the broadway creatures they normally have there) and we capped off the night in the piano bar where it was “Elton John Tribute Night”.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.