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How Close Can You Get To An Iceberg?


Images of icebergs on a sunny day in Alaska. Taken in LeConte Glacier Bay in the USA, these natural icy sculptures of floating ice are a common feature here. (Abigail King)So simple, so fresh, so utterly amazing. Ice and fire fascinate me at a level that doesn’t really make sense. Watching crystals of H2O and the release of energy as wood burns should be as mundane as watching drops of rain fall from the sky. Yet sit me in front of an open fire or let snowflakes land on my face and I’m hooked.

Take me to a bay of icebergs and my soul almost melts.

LeConte Bay, Alaska

The LeConte Glacier sweeps through Alaska for a full 21 miles as the Northern hemisphere’s most southerly tidewater glacier. For six miles after that, icebergs stud the indigo-blue waters as connections dissolve and the icy giants to rise to the surface.

Skiff ride from yacht to icebergsNot surprisingly, the air is fresh and the navigation treacherous. I was already on a small yacht as part of an InnerSea Discoveries “un-cruise,” but as we reached LeConte, two skiffs took us speeding right beside and even underneath these glacial behemoths.

With clear skies above, the Alaskan sun took on the role of conductor, rousing the bergs into a rhythm of snap, crackle and pop. The temperature increased, forcing the air bubbles into miniature explosions while the ice sculptures cascaded into waterfalls. But don’t take my word for it. Hear the music for yourself by watching the video below…

I visited the LeConte Bay as a guest of American Safari Cruises although all opinions are my own. 

More photos of Alaska. More travel stories about Alaska.

6 Responses to How Close Can You Get To An Iceberg?

  1. John Beath December 15, 2010 at 2:23 am #

    Nice video! FYI — We can put “Annotation Links” in the video. I’ll put one on my video to link to your video.

    Also, if you get a chance please check out our new site, http://www.MyTravelTastes.com

    Hope to see you again sometime.

  2. Abi December 21, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    Hi John. Not sure what you mean but will find out – and check out your new site. Thx for stopping by…

  3. Brandon February 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    I worked on a fishing boat in Alaska last summer and we had to dodge icebergs all the time. Sometimes we whacked them pretty good, too. How close can you get? You can bounce right off of them. Our boat was a class III ice breaker though. I wouldn’t try it in a skiff.

  4. Abi February 11, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    Sounds like an interesting job! My only other iceberg experience was in Patagonia and on the boats we were on there we stayed well away. I’ve heard that if a part of the berg melts, the centre of gravity can shift and propel another chunk of ice out of the water and underneath your boat. Alternatively, perhaps the captain had heard about Titanic and become a little spooked…

  5. Emy @ Karnataka Tour February 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    the video is awesome. what an adventurous journey. Great man. Hope u will Share such experiences again.

  6. Abi March 3, 2011 at 6:25 am #

    Would love to…working on more videos once I get to a faster connection!