Me on the upper deck of ship-approaching Hubbard Glacier
Today we sailed to the Hubbard Glacier, which is said to be the largest, actively calving tidewater glacier in North America. It it is about 16,000 years old, 76 miles long, 6 miles wide along the ice cliff face, 450 feet above sea level and 380 feet below sea level. It is said that it advances 40 feet per year.
As we approaced the glacier, the captain kept joking and telling us over the loudspeaker "don't worry I won't play the music of the movie The Titanic". Ha ha, very funny captain. It was a very cloudy, cold, rainy day. At one point it was even hailing. I didn't care though. I mean how many times in your life do you have the opportunity to see an actively calving glacier. I stood out on that deck for about three hours until we sailed away, I was not going to miss a thing.
As we got closer to the glacier, I was amazed at the beauty of it; it just left me speechless. The different hues of blue in the ice were so beautiful. The sound it made when it calved, unbelievable. You could hear and feel
the rumbling, like the sound of thunder or an earthquake, and then you would see the ice coming down and hitting the water with such force, it created waves. I was amazed at how the captain and crew were able to maneuver that huge ship in all that icy water and were able to get us as close as 600 yards from the glacier.
As we were sailing away, I went back inside and drank a much-needed mug of rich hot chocolate with whipped cream and then attended a history class/lecture given by two Tlinglit natives, from a nearby village who had boarded the ship not too far from Hubbard. The lecture entaileld a history of the people, their culture, etc.