Great Alaskan Running Cruise Day 4 2014 ~ Glacier Bay

Awoke to heavy clouds and fog this morning.

Having read various experiences about Glacier Bay day from earlier in the season cruisers, I wasn’t too worried as it seems pretty much all of them had started foggy but cleared in time for the Margerie Glacier. The glaciers actually look more blue when it’s cloudy, which is kind of weird, but it’s cool at the same time. I had room service breakfast again – super nice rather than dealing with the crowds in the Lido. It also let me keep an eye on things going on outside. Soon, the little boat carrying the National Park Rangers and the Native Alaskan who would remain on board until we exited the National Park waters pulled up

After I finished breakfast, I had a couple of hours until John’s talk, so I decided to wander around the ship for a while. They opened up the bow for us to walk around on and view, so I checked that out while it was empty, figuring it would be massively packed later in the day. This picture is looking up towards the bridge.

And the fog continued…

I went up to the Crows Nest where the Rangers had set up along with reps from Alaska Geographic and the Tlingit people. There was a white board with the anticipated schedule of the day on it

As it turns out, we ended up reversing the Johns Hopkins/Lamplugh Glacier and the Margerie Glacier in hopes that the fog would lift if we delayed Margerie a little while. I think I overheard the Ranger say later in the afternoon that we were the first ship to get into John Hopkins and to the Lamplugh all season because the ice had been too heavy prior.

At 9, we had a session where John talked. He is an amazing speaker and such an inspiration. His words will be sorely missed when he retires (not from these expeditions but from Competitor Group and RnR), but I know his spirit will echo through all of us he has touched. We discussed the prior day – those races were flat-out first to the finish – and got an update on Judy who had fallen on the Half course and fractured her arm. She was on the ship with us and in much better spirits than I know I would have been! We were in the Hudson Room, which looked out onto the Promenade Deck, so many of us were easily distracted by the scenery going by. (It was not by coincidence that “Squirrel!” which turned into “Whale!” was the rallying cry of this group! We all had a touch of ADD at least while in Alaska!)

At the end of John’s talk, Mila had a few dining table assignment changes for the night – I ended up getting moved to John’s table (I joked with Mila that she put the “problem child at the principal’s table” to which she said “You are NOT a problem child!!” I really wasn’t…I’d just had a lot of questions early on.), which was cool. Then I say down with Jenny to talk through training for Goofy. And then there was time to wander and marvel until the group photo. Some sights…

(the water is that color because of all the minerals from the glaciers)

(kind of unreal to be in Glacier Bay, Alaska with the roof open on the pool! then again, later…well, you’ll see!)

For those who like it (my daddy would have been in heaven!!), they have a tradition of serving split pea soup. I declined, but took a picture.

We were supposed to meet at 12:15 at the aft pool for our group picture, but when I walked out at 12:10, they were already getting set up. A few others came quickly up and we managed to actually get coordinated and done quickly…

…which was a very good thing because no sooner had we broken from the picture than the Ranger who was doing whatever commentary was necessary came onto the speaker system and announced a coastal brown bear off to the starboard side. Had that announcement come even 2 minutes earlier, the picture would have been all over. We all moved to the rail and sure enough…

Actually, there were TWO!

The one in the green was HUGE – he’s much farther away than the one down at the water, and the zoom on my camera was the same level for those shots! – and for a few moments he started ambling towards the other one and we thought we might see a fight, but luckily they ignored each other.

And then it was time…

…for the Polar Plunge!!

Now, before you think I’ve lost my mind, no we were NOT jumping into the bay. We were jumping into the SeaView pool. Jenny said she thought it was another first for the Running Cruise, so we had a group picture of all the crazy kids! ๐Ÿ™‚

Once we were signed up, the cruise director Michael gathered everyone around the pool for the ceremony – I’m not going to say what we said because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone!! – asking the Spirit of the Waters for permission/protection (come on…it’s all fun, so you know it’s not a legit ceremony, but it’s FUN!!!). Then he had the kids go first. When they got out, Michael quipped “Now go and stand at the aft rail for 30 minutes. We have to get the polar part in somehow!” Haha! But one little girl took him seriously and after about 10 minutes we heard her ask “Has it been 30 minutes yet??” Poor thing!! Then it was the women’s turn, and then the men. They did throw buckets of ice in on the men, so theirs was slightly more polar. Haha! Here I am afterwards with Cherri and Jill…

That is Margerie Glacier in the background. Here is a better picture…

I was very impressed with overall how nice everyone was. People would gladly move for other people to get a clear view and picture, at least on the aft deck – I don’t know how it was out on the bow as I didn’t bother going back down there.

Here is stuff in the water that has come off the glacier…

I got a drink of the day – Glacier Blue Martini. Isn’t it pretty??

Then headed to my cabin to take a warm shower and change out of my swimsuit. Took a selfie on my balcony with the Margerie in the background,

And then took this really cool picture with the reflection in my balcony doors…

(Clearly this was pre-shower. Haha!)

We didn’t see any really big calving going on. More just little runs of some sediment. You can kind of see it in the rightish-middleish of the picture.

When I was getting out of the shower, I heard the captain announce moose on the beach on the starboard side up ahead, but of course by the time we got a little further up where I could see the beach, moose were long gone. Still, the scenery was stunning.

And then it was time to say good-bye to Glacier Bay after a day filled with wonder!

That night saw an elephant towel animal

And good times hanging out in the Crows Nest

It was another awesome day!!


4 thoughts on “Great Alaskan Running Cruise Day 4 2014 ~ Glacier Bay

  1. Pingback: Great Alaskan Running Cruise 2014 ~ Day 7, Closing Ceremony and Victoria | Running With Mickey!

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