Sunday, July 12, 2009

LeConte Glacier trip

We're back to civilization after our three day kayak trip to LeConte glacier. We did a guided trip with Tongass Kayak Adventures, and had a great time. The kayaking was beautiful, the weather was remarkable, and the people were great. One of our guides said she'd never done a trip where it didn't rain at least once, so we felt priveleged to have spent several days in the sun.
It was very interesting kayaking with a group instead of on our own. On one hand we felt much more secure, and even paddled in our shirt sleeves for most of the time, and it was also fun to meet and interact with other kayakers. We did a lot of laughing around the fire ring, and it was very decadent to be served excellent food after padling all day. But it felt strange to be a little duckling following the momma duck all day. The picture above is one of our lunch spots showing the power of the tides in the area. When we pulled in, the water was out near that point, and we followed a little creek to beach our boats. By the time we were done, the tide was pushing our boats up the inlet.
The tides also strand small bits of iceberg, called bergy bits (really) on the beach. This one was about 6 feet tall. Our base camp faced out towards Fredrick Sound, and the icebergs that calve off the glacier get trapped at the entrance to LeConte bay because there's a big terminal moraine under water. At low tide, it's visible nearly across the entire mouth of the bay, and so as the tide receeded and the bergs hit the mud, they also tend to turn over or break apart.
By the way, those little black spots on top of the iceberg are a pair of bald eagles. The kayaker is our head momma duck, Marja, taking a moment to look up at an iceberg.

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