For the fishermen and cruise ship captains of Ketchikan, July 9th was just another Monday back at work. But for our Mother Goose fleet, this Monday marked the start of a trip of a lifetime! Grab your boat shoes and ball caps- Mother Goose is off the docks and headed north!
An hour into the trip, Virginia and Ken of Eldean broke the ice on the radio by calling out the first whale sighting of the trip! A lone humpback right off shore from the Guard Island Lighthouse. That kicked off the wildlife viewing. The conifer tree line, dotted with the bright white heads of eagles, towered above rocky islands with harbor seals and harlequin ducks resting on their shores.
By afternoon the boats were comfortably rafted along the Meyers Chuck dock. Carol, one of four full time residents, invited our group into the art gallery to peruse the locally made art featuring inspirations from life in and around Meyers Chuck. One such culinary inspiration included pickled bull kelp! Our crews reveled in the idea of pickles from the sea, so we picked up a jar for later. With a cheery farewell to Carol we returned to our hike winding through forest and meadow rich with purpled spotted foxgloves and lush green skunk cabbage. In one such meadow our group stopped beneath a towering salmon berry bush, laden with heavy, ruby berries. Apparently, salmon berries are not just for the bears! Satisfied, we continued on to the beach.
The tide was out when we got to the beach exposing a field of rounded stones and rocky tide pools to explore. Chittons, anemones, limpets and tiny crabs abound! The exposed popweed crackled under our feet as we wandered from pool to pool. We took a close look at an ochre seas star; carefully we admired it’s dexterous tube feet and almost invisible eyes (of which this one had five). Debra and Janet of Grand Adventure had excellent luck beachcombing, finding all sorts of treasures! There among the drift wood and kelp debris we talked beachcomber philosophy, the more you look the more you’ll find- true on the beach and in life.