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Columbia Glacier
Heading southwest from Valdez Sunday afternoon we round Mt. Freemantle and head into Columbia Bay. Columbia Glacier, the size of the city of Los Angeles can be seen here, looking north in the distance, left of center. Columbia is a receding glacier, calving many icebergs daily into the bay. Icebergs like these, drifting for miles into Valdez Arm contributed to the Exxon Valdez oil disaster. Ice had drifted into the southbound shipping lane of Valdez Arm, prompting the oil tanker to change course to the northbound lane to avoid it. For some unknown reason, a necessary course correction back to the southbound lane was never made and the tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef as a result.