Author Archives: Ilene Price

Columbia Glacier From Above!

Talk about being at the right place (in my bed, still sleeping) at the right time (embarrassingly late to mention). Not too many wake-up voicemails can top this one. . . “Ilene, I may be able to get you on a helicopter ride to see Columbia Glacier. . if you call me back right away!” SWEEEET!! I jumped out of bed, did a few cartwheels, celebrated my good fortune with some victory dancing and got myself to the airport pronto! My second-ever helicopter ride would be over the largest tidewater glacier in the Sound, and one of my all-time favorite places in the world to sea kayak!! What an incredible experience, to see this massive glacier from above, which is quite different than my customary perspective from sitting in a kayak. I’m sharing these photos with you so that when (not if, when!) you come paddle with us, you’ll have a better idea of where all of those icebergs are coming from.

Columbia Glacier

Columbia Glacier

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYeah, I’d say that I was pretty excited! Thanks to all who made it happen. . . Now, get me back in my kayak!

First Shoup Glacier Trip of the 2014 Season!

The Inner Bay at Shoup Glacier

The Inner Bay at Shoup Glacier

Here we are at Shoup Glacier, kicking off a sunny start to our 2014 season! The Inner Bay at Shoup Glacier is quite protected, which offers dazzling reflections of this majestic glacier, surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Along with impressive bird-viewing (Bald Eagles, Black-Legged Kittiwakes, Canada Geese, Black Oystercatchers, Arctic Terns, various types of Shorebirds, and Surf Scoters, to name a few), we were also followed by a few curious Harbor Seals. I also spotted my first Black Bear of the season!! Everybody had a chance to watch this large bear searching for food (it was way up on the mountainside) with the binoculars.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We took advantage of the incredible weather and explored the area in front of the glacier, finding beautiful pieces of blue ice that had recently fallen off the face of the glacier.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Shoup Glacier is also home to one of the most impressive Black-Legged Kittiwake (a small Gull) rookeries, which allows us to get up-close-and-personal with this extremely vocal and active bird. Here we are, floating past the Kittiwakes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not a bad place to spend a day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the boat ride back into Valdez, we had a chance to greet these Steller Sea Lions. We also saw a group of Dall’s Porpoises.

Steller Sea Lions

Steller Sea Lions

We hope to see you out on the water with us this season!