At the head of Glacier Bay next to the spectacular Margerie Glacier is a dirty black line of ice. This is the remains of the Grand Pacific Glacier. This granddaddy of them all is now receding at the rate of 30-60 ft per year. At one time it was this glacier that filled the area that is today Glacier Bay. As The Grand Pacific receded it left behind the U shaped trench to fill with water creating the magnificent Glacier Bay we see today.
Prince William Sound
Grand Pacific Glacier marks the end of Glacier Bay. It was time to turn around and head out to more open sea. Prince William Sound is part of the Gulf of Alaska. It is located to the east side of the Kenai Peninsula. Out here the ocean is more open. It’s not as protected as the bays and straits we’ve been traversing so far. We’ve been told to stay alert and watch for abundant wildlife. Resident marine mammals include humpback, sei, fin, minke, and killer whales as well as Steller sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters, all of which reach some of their greatest numbers in Prince William Sound. Even land animals can be seen on the narrow beaches. Some of the most common are black bears, grizzlies, moose and mountain goats. But I wouldn’t see any of them.
Along with open water come the waves
By now I considered myself a seasoned cruiser. I’d never been on a ship this large that rocked. I’d even told my sister that she wouldn’t need Dramamine. But Prince William Sound did me in. Seas were running 4-6 ft. Not huge but large enough for a pronounced rocking motion. It was actually pretty gentle, up and down from peak to trough and up again. If it had been a wild ride I’d probably have been ok. My adrenaline would have kicked in. Instead this gentle up and down motion sent me heading for my bunk. I spent the afternoon napping and fighting the nausea of sea sickness So I missed the pod of orcas that passed the ship in the middle of the sound.