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Our Journey on Scolamanzi II
Our Journey on Scolamanzi II

Valdez

Town of Valdez with oil terminal accross the bay

Town of Valdez with oil terminal accross the bay

13-15th June 2016

 

The town of Valdez turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. It is situated at the head of a long fiord in a most beautiful natural amphitheatre, surrounded by high snow-capped peaks each with their own hanging glacier. It is surrounded by spectacular glaciers and beautiful clear water which hosts rich fisheries and sea life.

Opposite the town is the Valdez Marine Terminal which is where the Alaska Oil Pipeline ends. This engineering marvel runs for 800 miles across Alaska from Pruedhoe Bay on the far north coast of Alaska. We were quite fortunate to find a berth in the small boat harbour. It was quite a squeeze to fit a 62 foot boat into a 55 foot slip. This time of year every harbour is filled with fishing vessels when they are not out fishing.

The town has a population of about 4000 which probably doubles during the season with visitors, fisherman and seasonal workers and is a major service centre for the region.

Valdez Small boat Harbour with the blue walkway on B-arm in the middle

Valdez Small boat Harbour with the blue walkway on B-arm in the middle

On our second day in Valdez while having lunch in beautiful calm weather, we decided to phone the helicopter company, Vertical Solutions Helicopters, to find out if the might have an opening for today. Luckily they did. This turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences we have ever had. We flew over the mountains and into Columbia bay to see the glacier up close. On the way we spotted a few mountain goats. The scenery was unbelievable! We also landed near the glacier to wander around the stranded ice bergs and growlers. To top it off we landed on Shoup glacier to complete an unforgettable experience.

 

 

 

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