Alaska 2013 July 9 Day 48 Reid Inlet and Glacier in Glacier Bay 31 NM total 1683 NM

The weather could not be worse, rain,  rain and showers and cold and misty, but we could not be happier, anchored in Reid Inlet after  an easy sail up West Glacier Bay. Reid Inlet is a delightful  bay separated from the fiord by two sandbars that you zig zag through to get in. Then it is like being on a lake, just a little over a mile long and not that wide. It is surrounded by steep  rocky hills where green is slowly growing after the glacier’s retreat. The Glacier, of course is at the other end of the inlet staring at us from the sand bar end where we have anchored.

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After retreating for  50 years and  then advancing a bit, Reid is now stable with a small section of ice reaching the water which makes one of few tidal glaciers. Some of the ice at the waterline is still pure and crystal blue.

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We are able to  get very close in the boat and then even closer on foot after hiking the shore of the inlet from one end to the other. Beautiful walking on the beach, with already many wildflowers growing and a few  black oyster catchers squeaking. 

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We cross a dozen waterfalls, walk in the glacier’s bed, a mix of sandy clay and gravel. Lots of granite, quartz  and also basalt rocks. Dunnery even wanders to the edge of a crevasse and up on the ice stepping from piece of rock to piece of rock as they are attached  to the ice.

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Glacier Ice shimmers with deep blue hues because of the way the light passes through it. Ice crystals absorb all colours of the spectrum reflecting only the short blue wavelengths of light. The colour is more intense on overcast days, which explains the navy blue ice in my pictures!!! After floating for a while, bergs deteriorate with air and salt water contact causing air bubbles. Losing density the ice then appears white.

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