Time of their (wild)life

September 20th, 2008 by Randy Jones

(60º14.7′ N, 147º42.6′ W — Snug Harbor, Prince William Sound) I got a call from the crew today giving an update since leaving Seward. A few interesting notes on Seward, it is the first place they’ve been to since Labrador that you could drive to directly in your car. It is at the end of a fjord with beautiful mountains all around. Also, the harbor was full of mostly private sailboats which was a stark contrast to the oil and fishing boats that have dominated so far. There was a Safeway! They felt like for the first time they were actually back in America.

Today they traveled about 75 nautical miles in perfectly calm seas. Forecast for the next few days is similar, which has them excited. They’ve been seeing the first signs of fall—the scrub & moss above tree line on the mountains is changing to gold and red. Meanwhile they saw a handful of glaciers and were visited by Dahl Porpoises again. Scott and Raime were able to get to the nose of the boat and look down into the crystal clear water and see them swimming under the boat and playing in the bow wave! They also reported seeing a whale fin of unidentified variety and several black and white-footed albatross. In further wildlife sightings, they added mountain goats to the growing list. Eagle-eye Raime spotted them on a two foot wide ledge above a 500 foot cliff. As I was talking to them they saw a bald eagle nest and ran outside to get a better look.

They’ve been trying to eat up all the left-over provisions from the adventure. Tonight they had mini-thanksgiving dinner with a stuffed chicken (purchased and frozen since Halifax). In spite of being well traveled, the crew reports that the chicken was tasty. The apple pie came out of the oven and they promptly hung up on me!

I did get a tentative itinerary from them. Tonight they are at Snug Harbor on Knight Island in Prince William Sound (site of the Exxon Valdez leak). Next stops are Copper River tomorrow, Icy Bay on Monday, and Yakutat on Tuesday. Scott & Raime fly home from Yakutat on Wednesday. Then it is up to Kipper and ye Salty Dog Walter to bring the Geraldine the rest of the way down to Sitka. They should be there by the weekend and fly home. And none to soon, all this apple pie talk has me hungry!

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I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go — Genesis 28:15