A red sun rose in a smoky sky over the ghostly Juneau harbor Monday morning. The raucous fishing fleet, having provisioned, prepared and partied all weekend, emptied out of the harbor early in the morning, leaving the harbor unusually still. Mother Goose followed suite, and got underway leaving the Alaska capital behind for Excursion Inlet. Less than an hour underway and the fleet came upon a number of humpbacks off of Point Retreat. The fleet slowed to an idle to watch as the humpback repeatedly dove, feeding for thousands of small herring under the water, before reemerging again. Further along in Saginaw Strait the fleet came across a playful group of Dall’s Porpoises. The rotund, black and white porpoise glided and zipped, rolling over one another in effortless grace. Curious as they are quick, the porpoises took a liking to Bonum Vitae and Artic Star, riding their bow wake as we traveled along.
The fleet arrived to Excursion Inlet, just as the afternoon light turned to wash the mountainous, island hemlocks a deep golden hue. Lily scrambled ashore and expertly set Deceptions stern line to hold our six-boat raft. Jordan called the boats in one by one, and soon Mother Goose had its very own boat neighborhood settled into the serene waters of Excursion Inlet. Deception hosted a lively social hour, featuring an expertly plated baked brie from Thea and a scrumptious cheese plate from Artic Star’s crew. A little after our social hour, Al spotted a lone black bear wandering along the beach across the inlet. Eric and July off of Discovery, “Big Camera” Bill from Artic Star and Ann, Annie and Vickie all piled into dinghies to get a closer look. Meanwhile, seven-year-old Walker off of Bonum Vitae caught a Yellow Sol, his third fish of the trip! Shortly after Morrey, of Thea, also hooked a fish prompting Walker to declare a fishing challenge of who could catch the most and the biggest fish. Stay tuned folks, only time will tell the fishy fate of Mother Goose’s fine fishermen. Not to be outdone by our fleet’s fishermen, Discovery, Thea, and Bonum Vitae’s crew all managed to get a good haul of crab before turning in for the night. And just as the sky finally started to darken, Mother Goose was graced with a black bear and a brown bear walking slowly along opposite sides of the shore. Quietly, with reverence, we watch as the bears padded along the beach finally slipped back into the brush, disappearing into the peaceful night.