Over the last fifty days I have been implementing an expedition style program on one of Silversea's classic fleet ships called the Silver Muse. It can hold around 600 passengers and is far and away the largest ship I've ever worked on. Figuring out the logistics of where the expedition equipment would go, like all of the zodiacs and kayaks, and other gear was only one of the many challenges that my team and I faced with this assignment.
Now that we are all packed up and can relish in the success I can finally look back at the few times I did get off the ship for some pretty fabulous adventures in Alaska. When the ship was in port, and not all the expedition team was needed for our excursions, I would try to send the team out as escorts on shore based trips. This was one of my favorites.
The clouds were pretty dark and low, but we had enough of a ceiling to fly up the face of Mendenhall Glacier. After a few scenic turns we touched down on lookers left of the glacier. Here our guide Jaydan met us and equipped all of us with crampons that fit snugly underneath our boots. I had experienced wearing crampons once before when I walked on Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand. The grip they give you on the ice, and the ability to walk up and down almost vertical slopes gives you the feeling of being a wild animal.
The adventure was called Glacier Trekking with NorthStar trekking based in Juneau. We climbed around the ice marveling at sky blue streams running through the glacier, holes that seemed to have no bottom, and caves just big enough to squeeze through. Even though it was raining back down in Juneau, it was nice enough up on the glacier to take my camera along for the ride and score some amazing photo opportunities.
We walked and explored for about an hour and a half before the helicopter came back for our pickup. Instead of flying straight back to the airport we spent a good half hour flying up Mendenhall glacier, over a few dog sledding camps high on the ice field, and then down Herbert glacier out to Auk Bay. The drizzly rain greeted us again down at the airport where apparently it had never stopped. We all felt quite lucky to have had such an amazing experience.
Enjoy scrolling through the rest of the pictures. Glaciers can be some of the most photogenic areas in nature. Juneau, Alaska happens to be a great place to access quite a few of them. I'm looking forward to more glacial mountaineering adventures in the future!
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Sunday, June 16, 2019
|Wilderness Discoverer next to Silver Muse in Ketchikan|
|Putting it into perspective|
|The Expedition Team|
|View of the top deck|
|Silver Muse in Tracy Arm Fjord|
|Docked in Haines, Alaska|
Its going to be a wild ride. We have a very nice floating home to house us as we hopefully rise to the challenge. Luckily the team is solid, I've worked with about half of them before, and the rest of the staff are delightful.