We enjoyed a quiet, still morning in Taku Harbor today. Cupping hot mugs of coffee in the cool morning air, we strolled the docks chatting with the other boats. For those who stayed up late last night, the bioluminescence in the water was spectacular. Low clouds obscured the top of a passing cruise ship, giving it an alien look. For us small boats though, the visibility was high and we were off the docks by 8am.
We passed many fishing vessels as we headed south through Stevens Passage meaning the salmon must be running strong this year. We also passed three more massive cruise ships heading up to Juneau. We overheard the captains talking with one another about us, and they referred to our flotilla as a “sea-going biker gang.” We got a kick out of that, and the nickname might just stick!
After the traffic thinned out, we took the opportunity to practice maneuvering our boats by performing man overboard drills. This is a great way to practice an important safety procedure, and get everyone a chance on the helm. Each crew did great! In the midst of our practicing, a humpback whale surfaced multiple times! At one point, coming up right next to Discovery.
As we neared Tracy Arm we spotted our first icebergs. Most were actually smaller pieces of glacial ice referred to as bergy bits and growlers. Because of the immense pressure that ice undergoes in a glacier, these ice floats are very dense which causes them to melt slowly and appear a beautiful blue color. Once in Tracy Arm Cove, we rafted five of the boats together, while Discovery chose the solitude of the anchor.
After getting set up, we sped out in our dinghies to explore the nearby beaches and shoreline. And, of course, to harvest some glacial ice for our evening beverages. Discovery and Victoria set out crab pots, and Victoria spent some time fishing from their dinghy, even pulling up a mystery creature from the deep (I’m still working on identifying it for them). We enjoyed a lovely afternoon and evening, with beautiful sun breaks, humpback whales, killer whales, and many eagles.