Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer Glacier
July 2, 2018
The sortie of this huge cruise ship into the Tracy Arm fjord was a highlight of the trip. We saw several glaciers from a distance after we left Skagway, but we got to see the Sawyer Glacier up close. Because of a unique feature of the Solstice propeller system, the captain got us close to the glacier then did a slow donut with the big ship in front of the glacier in the ice field!
BLUE ICE. OK. Let me be a physical chemist for a moment. Water is naturally blue because the minimum absorption wavelength is 470nm (blue). That means it absorbs all other colors more than blue, thus blue gets transmitted more than other colors. You need a thick layer of water to actually see the blue color (Beer's Law). Hence, you see blue in the ocean but not normally in a glass of pure water. Ice from the icemaker has a lot of air bubbles in it, so you can't see the blue color. Glacial ice that has been scrunched down over the years to more of a pure lattice looks blue.