Saturday, June 11, 2016

Alaska 2016 | Day 28 | LeConte Glacier

Another perfect day on the water! Today we took a side trip from Petersburg to LeConte Glacier and then back to Petersburg. It was a long day, but so worth it!

For starters, the weather was perfect. Sunny, warm, no wind. The views were magnificent. Although we couldn't get all the way to the face of the glacier, we saw it from a distance. And we made it in and out without damaging any boats.

LeConte is the "secret glacier" in Southeast Alaska. Exploring Southeast Alaska, the go-to guidebook for the area, discourages visiting LeConte. The authors claim it's "expedition style cruising" because the charts aren't good. On the contrary, I've found the charts perfectly good and the entrance bar (really a terminal moraine) easily negotiated. Because of the description in Exploring Southeast Alaska, not many pleasure boats visit LeConte. The cruise ships don't visit, either. The result is solitude in one of the most beautiful places imaginable.
Today could have been much worse!
Departing Petersburg
Sea lions enjoying the sun
Couldn't ask for a better day on Frederick Sound
We had an easy cruise down to LeConte Bay. Frederick Sound was glassy calm and the mainland peaks were clearly visible.
First look at ice!
We entered LeConte near the bottom of the tide cycle. No problem at all...I never saw less than 22 feet under the keel.
Hello glacier!
Last time I was at LeConte I got to within a half nautical mile of the glacier face. This time we couldn't get closer than about three nautical miles, but it didn't matter. We shut off the engines, launched the kayaks and dinghies, and explored for a couple hours. Magical!
Paul exploring by kayak
Brian and Anna exploring in the dinghy
Vince, Linda, Gale, and Eileen swinging by for a visit
Droning at Le Conte Glacier
We picked up some bergie bits at the glacier so we could enjoy our drinks on glacier ice when we got back to Petersburg. Everyone came over to Safe Harbour for happy hour, which morphed into dinner, which morphed into more drinking after dinner. Drinks definitely taste better on glacier ice!

Heading off grid for the next week, might not post again until Juneau.

43.57 nm today
900.55 nm total

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