It was a stunning day leaving Ketchikan, AK for Leg 2 of the Mother Goose Flotilla 2017. Together with six boats in a line, we set our compass to north and made headway to the secluded village of Meyers Chuck.
The weather gods must be on our side! It’s blue-bird sky and sun beams abound as the bow of Deception cuts the cold, crystal blue waters of the Pacific Northwest. Leaving Totem Pole Park on our starboard quarter, I could see a ceremony taking place around one of the largest of the totems. Hard to tell from a distance, but I think it was a good omen for things to come as the day brightens and we could see the First Nations tribal members dancing and playing drums. I think they were honoring the sea life or summoning the great beasts of the ocean because of what happened next..
“Well, where are all our whales?” asked Captain Brian. “OH-THERE THEY ARE!”
As if on cue, a group of humpback whales surfaced with spouts of water spraying sky high. The moment couldn’t be timed more perfectly. Idling the engines, the flotilla observed as the whales spy hopped and were shallow diving. A sign of things to come, surely. It took less than an hour before we spotted our first whales and the day was still young.
A spray of water and large splashing signaled a pod of porpoises heading towards the bow. At first, I thought we were getting ready for a small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins, but instead, these guys looked like baby orcas. No, they were Dall’s porpoise with their rooster-tail splashes cutting the water’s edge with lightning speed. Never to shy away from an opportunity to go full steam ahead, Deception throttled forward to give the porpoises a run for their money. Effortlessly, they kept pace, occasionally turning over to look us in the eye as our swab, Pascal, leaned over the railing to have a better look.
Yes, these are the defining moments of a good cruise. Once we landed dockside to Meyers’ Chuck, the flotilla went ashore for a fun hike to the beach. Within fifteen minutes of strolling through old log cabins, well-kept gardens, and dense secondary-growth forests the group made it to a quaint beach on the far side. How time flew by as we looked for sea critters in the tidal pools, held a rock skip competition (Alex from Patos was declared all-time champion), and had a small snack on the driftwood together.
Nothing works up an appetite quite like a hike, so the crew invited everyone over to Deception for happy-hour cocktails. Lots of socializing, wine drinking, and toasting kept us busy before we settled in for the night. A home-made spaghetti/chili combo kept our bellies full and, just like that, we were all lights out.
Another beautiful day on the water, hunger satisfied by the good grub, and abundant wildlife. Life is good on the water, it certainly is good.