How Icy the Iceberg Was Created
Nancy and I were taking a sea and land trip to Alaska several years ago. The first part of the trip was an ocean cruise starting in Vancouver, Canada. The cruise ship traveled along the coastline of Alaska for several days.
During the days at sea, I sat on the outer decks, watching the scenery. I really enjoyed watching the snow and the piles of snow and ice. During that trip, we entered an inlet in front of the Mendenhall Glacier. We were fortunate in two ways. Our ship was not one of the very large cruise ships. Therefore, we were able to enter the cove and get very close to the glacier. Also, there were not a lot of icebergs in the area. If there are many icebergs, the cruise ships are not able to enter due to the danger of hitting one of the glaciers.
As we approached the glacier, we were surprised at how high it was. I am estimating that it was about two hundred feet tall. The captain announced that we would try to remain until a portion of the glacier calved. Calving is where a large portion of the glacier breaks off and crashes into the ocean, forming another iceberg. We were very fortunate.
After several minutes, we heard a large crack, similar to a loud gunshot. We heard the cracking sound first. We then witnessed a huge portion of the ice break off the glacier and crash into the ocean. It is amazing how the water is disturbed by such a large piece of ice. A huge wave appears as the ice hits the water.
After the iceberg settles in the water, it is interesting to see how much of the iceberg floats underwater. This is what makes icebergs so dangerous. They don’t appear too large to a ship. But when a ship gets close to the exposed iceberg, the hull of the ship can be ripped open by the huge mass of ice under the water. After viewing the calving, the ship left the inlet and proceeded to sail along the coast again.
While we were at sea again, I told Nancy that I was going to the ship’s library to read. While at the library, a story came to me. I took a piece of paper from the library and started writing. Within an hour or two, I wrote the entire book and titled it Icy the Iceberg.