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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Glaciers and Icebergs‏

May 20th, 2011 · No Comments

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By the end of the day on Wednesday I knew that I was in trouble. I had taken so many photos on our cruise through the Endicott Arm of Alaska’s Inside Passage that I didn’t know where to start deleting. My trouble was too much of a good thing.

For the first time ever I carried around both of my cameras at the same time. My Canon 7D went as usual with my 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens, and my older Canon 50D with my 18-200mm lens. During the day I also used my Speedlite external flash and my tripod. While I had the most impressive camera equipment of anyone on board, Ross from Australia is a retired professional photographer who was carrying the professional grade Canon 5D Mark II camera and a shorter telephoto lens.

The overcast sky might have dissuaded some photographers from shooting pictures. But for Ross and me it only added to the moody beauty of the scene.

Aside from our ship, the “Island Spirit,” we didn’t see a single sign of civilization much less another person. This is totally unspoiled country. To the east on our starboard (right) side is nothing but the Chuck River Wilderness. To the west on our port (left) side is nothing but the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. And at the end of the Endicott Arm is Dawes Glacier.

Dawes Glacier

Dawes Glacier

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Birds and mammals rest on the icebergs.

Gulls on Ice

Gulls on Ice

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Harbor seals rest on their icebergs.

A Pair of Seals

A Pair of Seals

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Eleven Seals and Lots of Ice

Eleven Seals and Lots of Ice

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Somehow the crew grabbed a chunk of glacier ice. Captain Jeff promised to reward the person who made the best guess when it would completely melt with a “valuable” (but unspecified) prize.

"Hurry! This is Cold and Heavy!"

"Hurry! This is Cold and Heavy!"

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The captain also maneuvered the ship right under a waterfall. The crew captured pitchers of it and served it to us later.

Icewater

Icewater

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A Smaller Waterfall

A Smaller Waterfall

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Fords Terror is a small fjord about half way down the Endicott Arm. Its entrance is so narrow that a ship can enter and leave only at slack tide, so it gets few visitors.

The Entrance to Fords Terror

The Entrance to Fords Terror

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Back in 1898 a sailor named Ford took his ship in okay, only to find when he wanted to leave that the entrance was a raging torrent. He was truly terrified.

Now the “Island Spirit” is the only cruise ship that can enter Fords Terror. We spent Wednesday night there, completely isolated from the rest of the world.

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Posted in: Alaska, Photography

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