Glacier Bay National Park - Reid Glacier in early winter

Reid Glacier Travel Blog

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Kayak in a snow storm

A different planet this… The sun is low, all day.  In the early afternoon it is late - the sun slides below the cloud shrouded mountains and dusk lingers just three hours past noon. There is only one color to be seen, blue, from the glacier ice and from the fleeting windows through the wind driven clouds.  The bits of blue mix with an infinite number of shades of gray - and the white of snow, everywhere.

There is a feud between the snow and gray.  Even in the faintest of sunlight snow on the landscape wins and white prevails. All day gray rules the clouds but in the last moments of dusk the landscape concedes and gray is everywhere, then goes to darkness. 

The red kayak is my space ship - I slip into another world.

Harbor porpoise check out the boat
Pan ice and narrow crooked leads.  The water is flat and everything is doubled, I’m moving across a mirror. At the glacier blue ice and seracs are outlined with fresh wind-blown snow.  The tide is high and rough little  ice bergs, ‘bergy bit’ we call them, bounce against the kayak.  On the high mountains just up above the winds are blazing and the summits are a horizontal slurry of air and snow. In the valley above the glacier the winds are erratic and the clouds feather and swirl. But on the water it stays calm, quiet and mirroring. 

Glacier Bay in the early winter, no cruise ships, no kayakers.  Empty.  Quite.  Peaceful. The bays’ water, usually silty from the glacial melt waters is clear.  No bears along the shore but amazingly a single humpback slips into the inlet late in the day and then quickly heads back out into the bay proper.  Harbor porpoise surround the boat while at anchor farther down the bay the next day.  But otherwise it’s just me and a couple million acres of another planet.

rotorhead85 says:
Now that looks cold!
Posted on: Jan 31, 2008
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Kayak in a snow storm
Kayak in a snow storm
Harbor porpoise check out the boat
Harbor porpoise check out the boat
Blue ice at high tide
Blue ice at high tide
The face of Reid
The face of Reid
A humpback whale in Reid Inlet
A humpback whale in Reid Inlet
Reid Glacier
Reid Glacier
Cheech on the hook
Cheech on the hook
Low clouds
Low clouds
The south shore of Reid
The south shore of Reid
The sun goes down
The sun goes down
Fresh snow on blue ice
Fresh snow on blue ice
Looking back towards the entrance …
Looking back towards the entrance…
Reid Glacier
photo by: beinak