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  • svkailani

Day 59 – Mile 5630 – Bainbridge Arm, Prince William Sound, Alaska - No words...but I'll try...

OK. Wow. Like amazing wow. It’s truly impossible to express what we have experienced here at the Glacier. Bainbridge is a remote glacier that gets no real visitation except the occasional intrepid fishing folks. As it comes around the corner it takes our breath away. The glacier comes from way up along a 7k’ ridgeline and all the way down to sea level. It is retreating so has moved back about ½ mile from the water, leaving both a beach and a terminus lake in front. We can’t see the lake but see the river coming out into the center of the bay and resolve to go back the next morning. We anchor in the next cove over for the night, excited for tomorrow’s expedition.

The next morning breaks with…SUN…and we quickly relocate to be greeted by the glorious blue color of the glacier. Anchoring off it, Josh and Brian take first shore shift while Kevin and I watch the boat. Kevin drives them in and then finds heaven at the outlet of the Bainbridge river. He anchors in the flow just off the shore and hangs with the curious seals, salmon and sea birds. We switch and I go over and grab a bunch of great wildlife pics in just an amazing scene.

A couple of hours later, Josh and Brian are back, and just zooming. Brian heads back to watch the boat and Josh, Kevin and me set off for the glacier. We get to the terminus lake and are stunned to see a lake full of icebergs and a glacial wall that just gets larger as we get closer. We can see birds near the wall and realize it’s more than 200’ high. Seals lounge on the icebergs floating in the lake. It’s just breathtaking.

But we don’t stop there. We start hiking up the side to get a better view, but also following Josh on a path towards the sounds of a waterfall. We scramble up the rock and the sound continues to get louder. Suddenly we enter a cave under the glacier and an AMAZING antechamber. The ceiling is the most amazing color of blue. At one end a deafening waterfall brings the river out from under the glacier briefly into the moraine ridge and the cave. The river pools briefly and then aggressively dives into a descending blue cave and maelstrom. It is the most amazing place ever. Josh stands to close, making me nervous, but only because I don’t know that he swam in it when he was here earlier with Brian…. We capture pictures and video, all fully aware that it is uncapturable.

We step out back into the world and find a ledge high above the lake looking out across the wall. Out comes a 24 oz PBR and some cigars I happened to be carrying, and we sit there watching ice calve off the glacier.

As we walk back to the beach, talking very loudly (we have 2 guns and 2 cans of bear spray) we pass some grizzly prints on the side of the river. We've been staying away from the bushes and trees and singing loudly, but quickly work our way back to the beach and the boat.

Of course, while we are all recovering Brian decides to go back out and cast net for salmon…and scores! Go Brian!!!!!

Bainbridge Passage through to the Columbia Glacier next!!



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