Memorable Moments: Shooter Iceberg

February 18, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

When we are in Juneau, we usually make it a point to take a day cruise to the Tracy Arm Fjord.  The Tracy Arm Fjord is located about 45 miles south of Juneau, and the highlight of the cruise is a visit to Sawyer Glacier.  The captain turns off the boat's engines and drifts around while listening to the sounds of the glacier.

Glaciers are always in motion.  Every few minutes, you'll hear a thunderous boom and witness chunks of the glacier (some the size of cars, others the size of large ships) calve off and plunge into the water.

One of the most impressive sights is to witness a shooter iceberg.  A shooter is when a piece of ice breaks off underwater and comes shooting up to the surface, much like a surfacing submarine.  A shooter sounds different - it's almost like a guttural sound emanating from the glacier, and then you see a wave appear as the iceberg nears the surface.  Here is a photo of one - this particular shooter probably rose over 200 feet in the air before settling to the surface.  It was a truly awesome spectacle.


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