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Harriman Expedition Retraced

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Expedition Log: August 1, 2001

Layton "L.J."Lockett, Young Explorers Team

College and Harriman Fjords, Alaska

At about 7:00 a.m. the Clipper Odyssey arrived at the entrance to College Fjord. The weather today was partially cloudy with a slight breeze. At 9:00 a.m. disembarkation for the Zodiac exploration of College Fjord began.

College Fjord, formed by glacial action, has many glaciers, which reside within the inlet. All of the glaciers in College Fjord are named after Ivy League schools. On the left side of the fjord, the glaciers are named after women's colleges. On the right side, the glaciers are named after men's colleges. The largest of these glaciers is the Harvard Glacier. Most of these glaciers have receded since the original Harriman Expedition.


Ice chunk

A chunk of ice, about the size of an overstuffed chair, rests at the edge of Harriman Glacier. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).
Click image for a larger view.

People opting to go on the Zodiac exploration of College Fjord, they got to see a number of ice falls, called "calving," from the Harvard Glacier. At one point a large portion of the face of the glacier fell down, crashing into the waters below. Those who had never seen a glacier calve before -- and even those who had -- were amazed at the amount of ice coming off of the glacier. The Zodiac operators took precautions to keep their boats from getting swamped.

At around 11:15 a.m., all explorers returned to the vessel and we sailed to our next destination, Harriman Fjord. While in transit to Harriman Fjord, Kris Crossen gave a slide presentation entitled "Alaska's Glaciers". Kris is a geologist and is the head of the University of Alaska Anchorage Geology Department. The presentation "Alaska's Glaciers" was an informative talk about how glaciers form, their behavior, and other relevant facts about glaciers.


Harriman glacier

Expedition members walk across the crest of Harriman Glacier, with the Clipper Odyssey in the distance. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).
Click image for a larger view.

At 3:15 p.m. the Clipper Odyssey arrived at Harriman Fjord and the Harriman Glacier. This fjord and glacier were first discovered by the original Harriman Alaska Expedition in 1899, and named by the expedition members in honor of their sponsor, E. A. Harriman. At the time, the George W. Elder had to "sneak" into the fjord because the entrance was partially blocked by ice, but a hundred years later the channel is clear.

Due to US Forest Service restrictions, not all Harriman Retraced participants were permitted on shore at once, so people were shuttled ashore to see Harriman Glacier. A Zodiac cruise around the fjord was given to passengers who were waiting their turn to go ashore. For those visiting the glacier, they could walk on the ice and see the spectacular formations naturally sculpted in the ice.

All members of the ship were aboard the vessel at 8:00 p.m., and a group photo was taken for the expedition log. After this, a barbeque dinner was served poolside. Once dinner was completed, the Clipper Odyssey continued its journey for La Touche Island in Prince William Sound.

(View the day's photos: College Fjord)

(View the day's photos: Harriman Fjord)


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For information on the Harriman Retraced Expedition e-mail: harriman2001@science.smith.edu

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