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Glacier Bay and the Polar Bear Plunge

Emily, the ranger from Glacier Bay National Park, joined us onboard for breakfast. She was to be our guest for the next couple days while we were in the park. The sky was partly cloudy, but we could still see many of the far off peaks that we were heading towards. We spent some time around the Marble Islands viewing the sea lions sunning themselves and all the birds that call these islands home, including some puffins! We were afraid it was too late in the season, but they stuck around for a little longer for us. This afternoon, we anchored in front of Lamplugh Glacier and split into groups. We had a few options today, so we chose to take the skiff out towards Johns Hopkins Glacier, which was incredibly huge! The ice chunks made its slow go, and we were still miles from the glacier, but it was worth seeing. Then we went for a hike along the side of Lumplaugh. This glacier had a river poring out from under it into the ocean, with amazing acoustics surrounding the mouth of the river. The hike was beautiful and a bit of a climb, but we welcomed the exercise. Then when we got back to the yacht, we threw on our swimsuits and jumped in among the icebergs for our glacier plunge! It was cold, refreshing, and a blast. We had nearly every person on our cruise do the plunge, including our first mate. We found out later that evening that we had the most plungers of any group the staff could remember! I was proud of our adventurous ship-mates for taking the plunge! As it was starting to get dark, we made our way towards Margerie Glacier. It was calving as we were approaching,and we sat there for a bit watching it in near-silence. Then, we saw the biggest, most magnificent calving I have ever seen. It matched what you see on the Discovery Channel! It was huge chunk of ice, that broke off from the entire face, and all plunged straight down into the ocean below, causing a big wave that reached us in seconds. We of course were at a safe distance. Vanessa even admitted that it was one of the biggest callings she had seen in all her years working up there. I couldn't believe our luck! This was truly an amazing day, filled with a little bit of everything.

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