More Valdez Pictures
First, allow me to introduce the Big Draw, a 30 foot Penn-Yan, Dad's pride and joy.
A tour of Prince William Sound allows for all kinds of beautiful sights to be experienced. However, for those interested in seeing Alaska only on a cruise ship, expect a cold vacation as the ocean temps hold the air temperature in the 50s (also adjust for a cool sea breeze). That being said, lets look around.
When the weather is nice, the mountains around Valdez are out in all their majesty. You don't even have to leave the harbor to find beauty, but you do get diversity that way. Here we approach Entrance Island, marking the passage from Port Valdez to Valdez Arm and Prince William sound, through the Narrows.
Valdez is rich in diverse marine life from Orcas (killer whales) to Sea Lions and birds of all kinds. Below we look at a herd of Stellar Sea Lions
pulled up on the rocks.
When sea lions need a rest while off shore, they haul up on buoys. No matter where you see them, they sure stink!!
While cruising the sound, it is nice for some 'shore leave.' There is a lot to explore by foot, but make sure to tread lightly and respect land ownership. Below we are walking on the beach in Galena Bay.
The south central and south east regions of Alaska are known for their massive trees. These rain forests (never thought you'd hear that in Alaska?!) are a source of timber and often encourage clear-cutting on many islands in Prince William sound. The scars remain for decades.
Other than marine life and the mountains we saw on the first Valdez page, the tide water glaciers are a sight to behold. I don't have good pictures of the Columbia glacier, but below are shots of ice bergs that calved (broke off) from the Columbia. Some years the ice bergs are numerous and pose a serious threat to all ship traffic, especially the oil-laden tankers.
Not only do ice bergs form messy fields, they can also be enormous. As the glacier drops massive chunks of ice into the bay, large waves are generated. Soon, ice bergs old and new are bouncing and thrusting all about the boats, posing a very serious harzard.
Index of Alaska Pictures