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This morning we awoke to a fog-filled sea. I was, of course, up well before Libby and writing for the blog. Like yesterday, we enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast that had delivered to our cabin. We then lounged about, lingering over our coffee, and talking – the vacation version of many of our weekend morning. I then went to the Explorations Cafe to post my Q&A answers (frustratingly unsuccessful). Around 10am, rangers from Glacier Bay National Park came aboard.

At 10:30, we attended Ranger David’s talk about the wildlife and ecosystems of the park. It was, more or less, a “circle of life” / “everything is interconnected” speech. But, I have to say, he was a very polished presenter and the talk was captivating. Indeed, it was the single best presentation that I’ve seen on a cruise ship. Ranger David’s presentation was followed by that of a cultural interpreter from the Tlingit tribe of native people, who view Glacier Bay as their spiritual homeland. Alice’s discussion was also interesting and provided a personal narrative of the area’s people. All in all, this was another example of successful education / enrichment from HAL.

Unfortunately, the scenery today was far less fulfilling. It seems that a number of wildfires in both Alaska and Canada have resulted in very hazy skies. This obscured much of the majestic scenery, having painted the landscape in an ethereal fog. I’m afraid this might portend a fairly lackluster experience along the rest of the Inside Passage, but we’ll have to wait to see. In any case, we did get within a quarter of a mile of Margerie Glacier (which is tidal glacier of nearly a mile wide and over two hundred and fifty feet tall). Here we stood for about an hour, eating an excellent Dutch pea soup (served on the deck), waiting to see calving (which we saw, though modest in scope).

Here’s a picture of Margerie Glacier:

Glacier Bay NP

While leaving the glacier, we passed another HAL vessel, the ms Eurodam Westerdam. We last saw the Eurodam Westerdam in Southampton, England, prior to her maiden voyage in the summer of 2008 the Bahamas during December, 2007.

Next, we moved on to Lamplugh Glacier, which impressively displayed a river of water rushing from deep within the glacier. Here’s a photo of the glacier and its feature:

Glacier Bay NP

Overall, Glacier Bay National Park was enjoyable but not spectacular due to the atmospheric conditions. It seems that weather in Alaska is always variable and rarely favorable. Thus, I think we’re doing pretty well on balance.

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