Whilst in Seward, Alaska I really wanted to do a day boat cruise into the Kenai Fjords National Park to see the beautiful scenery, glaciers and of course the abundant wildlife including birds, seals, whales and more. Unfortunately, despite being summer, for a number of days the weather was atrocious on the Kenai Peninsula with heavy rain, strong winds and high seas. Cruises were being cancelled or cut short every day. It wasn’t looking good.
Luckily the weather on my last possible day before I had to leave the area showed some promise. Thankfully mother nature held bay and provided a foggy morning but ultimately a relatively nice, calm day that enabled me to finally hit the water!
Aialik Glacier. It is the largest glacier that runs into the upper section of Aialik Bay. It is an impressive sight and can be easily viewed from the tour boat.
Despite a thinning of the ice, fortunately the glacier is relatively stable and has retracted only around 1,000 feet / 305 metres since 1909. Although it is not great to hear that it has retracted it is still much better than the fate of many other glaciers effected by climate change in the past century.
You really feel like you are in Alaska here as it is cold, ice is often calving from the glacier, falling into the ice strewn bay and when you look closely you suddenly notice all the Harbour Seals swimming in the icy water and sleeping on the chunks of ice.
To fully enjoy the experience, the boat tour guides advised everyone to be as quiet as possible while we gently floated in front of the glacier. I could have spent hours in that peaceful setting with the cold air on my face listening to the ice crack and move. A stunning place.