Thursday, June 30, 2016

Alaska 2016 | Day 47 | Taku Harbor to Juneau

We had an easy trip into Juneau...calm water, sunshine, light traffic.
Stephens Passage
The weather was much sunnier than expected. Given the excellent visibility, once we got cell phone service I called Alaska Seaplanes and chartered a DeHavilland Beaver for an afternoon scenic flight over Taku Glacier.

The Beaver is an amazing airplane. Despite being out of production since 1967, Beaver's continue to be the workhorse seaplane in this part of the world. They're renowned for their toughness, short field capability, and cargo hauling capacity. The plane we flew on was built in 1949 and continues to provide reliable service (not many original parts remain, of course). It's not the most refined airplane, and it's certainly not the fastest, but it's a favorite of pilots and operators alike.
N777DH, our ride for the afternoon
Departing Juneau. Mendenhall Glacier as seen from just above the Juneau Airport.
Our route took us south in Gastineau Channel and then north towards Norris Glacier. We circled Norris Glacier and Taku Glacier, then landed on Turner Lake before returning to Juneau. Seeing this area from the air was awesome.
The mountains quickly grew snowier
Mountains and glaciers. Taku Inlet in the distance.

Flying among the peaks
Fifteen minutes out of Juneau, all we could see was snow
Mountains everywhere!
It felt like I could reach out and touch the mountains
Circling to land at Turner Lake
Norris Glacier
We flew for a little over an hour and covered 90 nautical miles. Totally worth the time and expense in order to see a whole different side of Southeast Alaska.

20.51 nm today
1305.83 nm total

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