The well-worn docks of Juneau’s Auke Bay Marina creaked and scraped under the busy feet of passengers and fishermen hustling up and down the dock. Mother Goose crews joined in the hustle and bustle in getting ready for the trip of a lifetime. By 8am Wednesday morning the bags were stowed, and the provisions bought- all that remain was to hop aboard and let loose the lines! Five handsome Grand Banks and one elegant Kadey-Krogen left Juneau in a stately line just in time; the gill net boats had just returned from a run and were hawk-eyeing any openings on the dock. As we waved goodbye to the Alaskan state capital we saw several eagles circling overhead, a few individuals from the very robust Juneau eagle population.
The fleet headed South through Stephen’s Passage and just as we all were really feeling the 15ft of rainfall per year statistic – the sun broke through the clouds. Crews enjoyed the sunshine by steering from the flybridge. Half way through Stephen’s Passage, Al called out “Humpback!” The crews slowed and watched a singular, juvenile humpback take several mighty breaths before fluking and diving deep.
After several hours of sunny cruising, the fleet turned into Tracy Arm Cove and…ICEBERG! Dead ahead! Mother Goose got their first glimpse of the magnificent ice that once dominated Alaska’s terrain. Fortunately, no one was tempted to reenact the Titanic and we settled into a sociable 6-boat raft for the night. Patos’s crew, Annette, Dick, Ed and Mikkel, and the owners of Grand Adventure, Glenn, Karen and friend Abby, took a dinghy ride over to examine the bright blue glacial ice of the icebergs. Deception hosted a social hour, and crews enjoyed getting to know a bit more about each other over appetizers and chocolate dipped strawberries. Later that night, Eldean’s crew, Randy, Ben, Jack and Allan, dropped their crab pots in just before heading to bed. Tomorrow, glaciers! With (hopefully) a side of crab.