Kayaker and Hanging Glaciers, Icy Bay, Alaska

A kayak is a small, narrow boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double-bladed paddle. In the UK the term canoe is often used when referring to a kayak.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler. The cockpit is sometimes covered by a spray deck that prevents the entry of water from waves or spray and makes it possible for suitably skilled kayakers to roll the kayak: that is, to capsize and right it without it filling with water or ejecting the paddler.Man sitting with legs covered in boat that tapers to a point at each end holding long, pointed, wooden pole Inuit seal hunter in a kayak, armed with a harpoon

Some modern boats vary considerably from a traditional design but still claim the title “kayak”, for instance in eliminating the cockpit by seating the paddler on top of the boat (“sit-on-top” kayaks); having inflated air chambers surrounding the boat; replacing the single hull by twin hulls (“W” kayak), and replacing paddles with other human-powered propulsion methods, such as foot-powered rotational propellers and “flippers”. Kayaks are also being sailed, as well as propelled by means of small electric motors, and even by outboard gas engines, when possible.
Photo of person sitting in boat holding paddle with otters swimming in foreground. Boat is approximately 12 feet long and only slightly wider than paddler.Kayaks are often used to get closer to marine animals, for example sea otters
The kayak was first used by the indigenous Aleut, Inuit, Yupik and possibly Ainu hunters in subarctic regions of the world.

A hanging glacier originates high on the wall of a glacial valley and descends only part of the way to the surface of the main glacier and abruptly stops, typically at a cliff.Avalanching and icefalls are the mechanisms for ice and snow transfer to the valley floor below.Rock and icefall from a hanging glacier was responsible for triggering the Kolka-Karmadon rock ice slide in 2002, that killed 125 people.

Icy Bay is a body of water in southeast Alaska, formed in the last 100 years by the rapid retreat of the Guyot, Yahtse, and Tyndall Glaciers. It is part of the Wrangell-Saint Elias Wilderness.At the beginning of the 20th century, the bay entrance was permanently blocked by a giant tidewater glacier face that calved icebergs directly into the Gulf of Alaska. A century-long glacial retreat has opened a multi-armed bay more than long.Icy Bay is popular destination for sea kayakers, and is reachable by bush plane from Yakutat.

Kayaker and Hanging Glaciers, Icy Bay, Alaska

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