Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Aurora Borealis - Juneau, Alaska

I was lucky enough to observe three separate auroral events during late February in Juneau, Alaska.  All three were viewed above Mendenhall Glacier.  Two of the auroras started off as faint glows on the east-northeastern horizon, and then intensified in a matter of 10-20 minutes as they expanded southwestward over my location.  Green streaks and columns were the most common shapes, with occasional vortices dancing north and south across the sky.

Aurora above Mendenhall Glacier.  Juneau, AK.  February 19th, 2014.
February 19th, 2014.
February 28, 2014.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Alaska Marine Highway

The Alaska Marine Highway (AMH) runs from Bellingham, WA north to Skagway, AK, with stops in between at Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, and Juneau, Alaska.  All of the marine vehicles are named after glaciers in Alaska, including the MV Malaspina, which has been in the ferry system for 50 years.  The AMH is an excellent way to get an intimate up close view of the mountainous inter-coastal waterway of southeast Alaska and the communities scattered across the region.  There are only a few sections of the route between Bellingham and Ketchikan that are exposed to the open sea.  Though rough seas may be experienced when traversing these short sections, most of the water is flat for the most part.

View from the Fairhaven port in Bellingham, WA.
Bellingham, WA.
MV Malaspina.
Entrance to the MV Malaspina.
Lower level of the MV Malaspina where vehicles are transported.
Viewing lounge on the MV Malaspina.
Dining area on the MV Malaspina.
Morning in Ketchikan, AK...the first stop on the way to Skagway.
Creek Street.  Ketchikan, AK.
Scenic Creek Street in Ketchikan, AK.