Berg Bay brought out the natural food lovers in the fleet. This morning Deception’s stern roared with blast of its atomic crab cooker. Inception’s Captain Jordan took advantage of Deception’s Captain Jordan’s vat of boiling salt water to prepare his lifetime first Dungeness crab. Crab omelets, yum! Crab salad sandwiches, even better! Crab with just a touch of butter, sublime.
The cuisine scene moved ashore after breakfast when a half-dozen intrepid hikers headed for the Forest Service trail ashore. We ran into a field of black lilies, which the native Tlingit peoples harvested for their roots, which resemble a short-grain rice. We all tried a few grains and decided the Tlingit knew what they were doing in the kitchen.
The hike up into the forest produced clasping twisted-stalk in bloom, which will produce watermelon flavored fruits in the Fall. The salmonberry was almost ripe, and the thimbleberry was in full bloom. We all had a look at the Alaska blueberry, but none of us thought it was ripe enough to eat. Apparently, we weren’t alone; a clear bear paw print was impressed in the mud nearby.
Our passage from Berg Bay to Wrangell was short and relaxing. Our high-pressure luck held another day, so the winds and seas were calm. After the fleet moored in Heritage Harbor, Noel, Cass, Gary, Joanne, and Jordan hiked out to Petroglyph Beach, where stone-age artisans had pecked their inspiration into solid rock. We had a spirited discussion as to what could have motivated prehistoric people to invest so much energy into these stone pictures. Boredom? Love? Prayer? Welcome to arrivals at the beach? A warning to stay away? We’ll never know, but we felt privileged to touch their work. Gary and Joanne celebrated by buying an ice cream cone, as close to a modern sacrament as we were likely to find on the walk back to the boat.