If Dr. Seuss had invented a fictitious fruit it surely would have been the nagoonberry. It’s fun to say in a way that any 1st grader would immediately appreciate and is as delicious to eat as it is to say. Though it may sound made up, the nagoonberry is real and our shore party of Big Jordan (“BJ”), Medium Jordan (“MJ”), Cass, and Noel found a nice patch of them at Tracy Arm Cove today. It was too early in the season for the sweet little berries, but not too early for the pretty pink flowers and the fun of saying “nagoonberry”.
Our floral find was the least but by no means the only highlight of our day. A huge flock of white-winged scoters were diving for muscles at the entrance of Pybus Bay. We could hear the whistling of their wings as the birds took off at our approach.
Out in Stephens Passage we encountered a pair of humpback whales lunge feeding. The two would dive down, build up speed, and erupt up through the herring ball side-by-side with mouths agape. They spent a few moments on the surface pumping water out of their mouths and swallowing their prey before returning to the school to lunge through it again. Dawn got a nice video of one lunge. For us it was a documentary. For the herring, a horror film!
As we approached the entrance to Holkham Bay, the floating ice grew from tiny bits of brash ice, to 3’ tall growlers, to 10’ high bergy bits. Many of them were wildly sculpted, as if by some whimsical ice-carver. Thankfully, few made it into the harbor, and we had a snug night tied up in a six-boat raft. The fleet was in high spirits during our social hour in anticipation of the trip through the ice to the Sawyer Glacier tomorrow. No fear in this group; they turned down an offer to borrow Deception’s DVD of Titanic!