Hubbard Glacier

For over twenty years I have enjoyed many distant cruises to dramatic spots such as Alaska and Argentina. Some of these voyages were short, such as a luxurious adventure we enjoyed on the rivers around New York City and the jungles that line those shores. A much longer journey through the Caribbean passing through the Panama Canal and on to California with stops along the way swallowed eighteen days.

On a number of those trips I have simply been a passenger, enjoying the comfort of the ship and affability of my fellow passengers. On other expeditions, I was on board to provide entertainment and a memento for a group of passengers who had purchased their cruise from a particular agent. Either way, I have developed two ways of painting on these holidays. Painting from an open deck, while bracing and enjoyable, does present hazards of weather and wild life. Bugs and birds both can pose problems. Painting from photos that I have taken the previous day, the second technique, allows a less stressful approach since a space near the bar ensures a constant supply of sustenance.

In this view of the Hubbard Glacier, I wanted to emphasize several ideas. I was taken by surprise by the iridescent colour of the glacier. The sound of the pieces breaking loose and cracking, known as calving, was also quite a spectacular feature of this tidewater glacier. Just as at Mount Edith Cavell in the Rockies near Jasper, the retreat of the glacier is obvious and disturbing. We were able to get a close view of the Hubbard Glacier from our ship, our travelling home. At one point we feared that we might run into the glacier—we were so close—but of course our Captain was a trifle more knowledgeable than his passengers.

Just one question that springs from a number of cruises. Do people not understand the law of cause and effect? If people feed the gulls from the deck of the ship, should they not expect, how should I say this, some fall-out?