Yakutat and Disenchantment Bay
As we approached the entrance to Yakutat Bay in Alaska, small icebergs started to appear around the ship. Through the morning haze we could see the towering snow capped peaks of the distant mountains and a temperate rainforest, the 17 million acre Tongass National Forest. The captain carefully maneuvered the large ship through the thickening ice field into the narrow Disenchantment Bay which contained three glaciers, Turner, Haenke and Hubbard Glacier.
|Haenke Glacier||Hubbard Glacier|
The ship slowly approached the face of Hubbard Glacier, an imposing sight at six miles in length. To the right is the entrance to Russell Fjord, which was blocked off by the Hubbard Glacier in 2002. This led to a dam forming to a height of 61 feet, and when it broke on August 14th it sent the 2nd largest glacial flood in world history. The Fjord is still in danger of being closed off by the advancing glacier, and this would have a devastating effect on the local population. The Yakutat economy relies upon the Situk River for sport, commercial and subsistence fishing and the lake formed by the damming of Russell Fjord would drain south into the Situk river affecting the important fishing area, and flood national forest and private land. In this age of retreating ice caps and glaciers, it's strange to realise that some glaciers are still advancing. The retreat and advance of ice can have devastating local and global effects.
|The myriad of patterns on the face of the Glaciers|
|Click on these images for more Glacier Photos|
|Turner Glacier||Hubbard Glacier, Russell Fjord is to the right|
|Tongass National Forest, a temperate rainforest|
PART FIVE - Russian Sitka
|More photos from Alaska can be found on our new website or on the links below|
|Departure||Sunrise||Juneau||Yakutat Bay||Sitka||Sitka Wildlife||Ketchikan|
|Misty Fjords Flight||Butchart Gardens||Eagles||Sea Lions & Otters||Seals||Whales||Hubbard Glacier|
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