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Cruising Alaska:
Coral Princess (Northbound, Vancouver - Whittier)

by Murray Lundberg

    Days 1 & 2: Vancouver & at Sea
    Day 3: Ketchikan
    Day 4: Juneau
    Day 5 : Skagway
    Day 6: Glacier Bay
    Day 7: Prince William Sound & College Fjord
    Day 8: Whittier

Click on each photo to greatly enlarge it.

Friday, June 18: Today is the final full day of this voyage. I was up at 3:15am, 1 hour and 8 minutes before sunrise, but it was fairly bright outside. At that time we were just north of Yakutat, sailing on calm seas for Prince William Sound and College Fjord. Sailing across the Gulf of Alaska, there's little to see until mid-afternoon.

Cruising though Wells Passage at 4:45pm, we met the Alaska State ferry Aurora, which was sailing from Whittier to Valdez.

Prince William Sound is spectacular, but that doesn't really look like summer, does it?

Whittier has about the worst weather in Alaska outside the Aleutians. Directly ahead in the darkest part of that storm on the opposite side of Port Wells is Passage Canal - Whittier is at the head of it. Of to the right is College Fjord.

Our first look at College Fjord. Multiple glaciers and sunshine!

The Barry Glacier, in Barry Arm of Port Wells. Off to the left of the glacier is Harriman Fjord, another spectacular fjord studded with glaciers.

The "Qayak Chief" passed us on its way to drop a few kayakers off for a week-long paddle in College Fjord. That intrigued me enough that I went to talk to the operator when we reached Whittier.

The Barnard Glacier is the exception to the naming convention in College Fjord - it was named for a geologist who did a lot of work in the area.

The Wellesley Glacier with it's forested terminal moraine is very different than the vast majority of Alaska glaciers.

Harvard Glacier fills the head of College Fjord. The face is a mile and a half wide and about 225 feet high. There were a dozen or so seals on pans of ice just off to the left.

The Yale Glacier at the head of Yale Arm, a short body of water at the head of College Fjord.

This was as close as we got to the head of College Fjord and the Harvard Glacier. A captain who's nervous about ice can sure disappoint a lot of people. We got spoiled sailing to Hubbard Glacier on the Radiance of the Seas with a former Canadian Navy captain who seemed to enjoy ice.

The peaks above the Harvard Glacier.

To Day 8: Whittier