Ice and More Ice

Most of the time, the stream that connects the upper lagoon to the lower lagoon flows from upper to lower. Hence the names “upper” and “lower.” Yesterday, however, we floated from the lower lagoon to the upper lagoon without paddling. So that means the water was flowing uphill, right?

Um…no. It sure seemed like it, though. Everything was backward.

In reality, we caught the very high incoming tide just right and cruised right in…

canoeing-01to ice. The upper lagoon is already starting to freeze. We broke right through it, just like the seals, and…

canoeing-02paddled in and around the big icebergs.

The surface of the water appeared to be shimmering, but there was no sun. On closer inspection, it looked like the surface of a lake as rain hits it. You know, the water drops plonk onto the surface, splash, and send out a circle of waves. Now take away the water drops and splashes, leaving just the circles exploding like popcorn.

Zillions of air bubbles were rising to the surface, bursting at the top, and sending out waves. It was a veritable up-pour. Fascinating! Like some sort of movie special effect. We wondered why we’ve never noticed it before, but then from some angles we couldn’t see the shimmering at all. And, of course, sometimes it really is raining, and sometimes the sun is out, and…you know. There are reasons. We saw very few bubbles in the water, just tiny circles erupting on the surface.

The bubbles must be from the bergs melting; there’s a lot of air trapped in the ice.
canoeing-03Icebergs are cool.

Categories: Alaska

6 replies »

  1. Hi Jen, Love the pics of your adventures. That second pic is something else. Wish I was there with you. Perhaps you need to offer a tour for your friends! Joan

  2. Ditto on Joan’s statement. Do you have anything new on the status of a Stitching Safari for summer 2010?
    Amazing pictures, especially the second one. It is monochrome except for the hint of blue in the shadow on the snow. Visually wonderful.

  3. Huh. Digital color is wacky and unreliable. I’m pretty sure I’m not seeing what you’re seeing. All the pics are color; it was just a very gray day.

  4. Oops. I don’t count very well. The third picture is the one I was looking at. Yes it is in color, but your subject matter is shades of grey. At least, that’s how I see it.

  5. Oh, that makes much more sense! And if I had any sense myself, I might have figured that out. Duh.

    I agree. The whole day was rather monochromatic, really. It could have been perceived as ominous, but I found it moody.

    The word that comes to mind when I want to describe this place is “dramatic.” Glorious highs; eerie, bottomless lows; and raging transitions. Aialik Bay, she’s a diva.