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The Columbia Glacier

Rain, rain, go away! What a messy day to have reservations for a 7 hour boat ride to the Columbia Glacier! However, our vessel, the Valdez Spirit, and our seat companions made the trip more enjoyable. Gail (from New Zealand), and her companion, David (from England) are world travelers and very interesting folks to share stories with for 7 hours. Although the trip was long, rainy, and cold (outside) we did see lots of interesting sights. There were eagles in the trees and cute sea otters in the water. We saw sea lions resting on buoys and some of the bluest glacier ice I have ever seen. We had lots of hot coffee and tea to drink, and a lunch of soup, bagels, and cookies was served. The pilot house was large and warm and the captain let the passengers come in to chat and ask questions. But the big event of this trip was seeing the glacier itself. Heaven knows we have seen a lot of glaciers on this trip and learned a lot about them. However, I have never seen so much ice floating from a glacier, and I have never seen one shaped like this one. It was truly awesome! Columbia is one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, and has been retreating since the 1980's. We were able to get within 1/4 mile of the face of the glacier, and the iceburgs kept banging against the side of the boat. It was very exciting. On the way back, we went through some rough weather, but dodged behind some islands which made the passage easier. After enjoying a lovely dinner at Roma Restaurant on the dock, we settled into our warm rigs and enjoyed the view of the mountains and the salt marsh from our front windows.