Mother Goose 2019: Leg 4: Day 2: Meyers Chuck to Wrangell | NW Explorations


Mother Goose 2019: Leg 4: Day 2: Meyers Chuck to Wrangell

Today is the kind of irresistible boating day that boat salesmen dream of. With a light breeze at our stern, the Mother Goose fleet glided out of Meyers Chuck headed north to Wrangell, the sun dancing along glass calm waters. The jewel bright sky and cotton candy clouds reflected in the water disturbed only by the diving of Marbled Muerlettes and the quick fliting flight of the migrating Phalaropes. Part way though our morning the fleet came upon a Stellar Sea Lion rookery in Ernest Sound.  What a tremendous cacophony! Adult males, with large, grisly scars on their even larger and grislier necks, fiercely defended their territory and the tens of adult females within from neighboring males and the occasional juvenile interloper. The sound of the Sea Lions had barely faded away when Brodie cried out “Orca! Starboard, 11 o’clock!”. Sure enough, one, two, three, four…five plumes of mist and five thin, black dorsal fins appeared on the water line. The fleet slowed to an idle and watched as the orca slowly circled a rock, four adult females and one little baby orca among them. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, tens of Dall’s Porpoise were swimming past the fleet. Their movements were not the graceful, playful gliding typical of Dall’s Porpoise, but sharp turns and evasive lunging. These porpoises were being hunted. The fleet watched as one adult orca broke off from the group, circled back and breach multiple times onto her prey. The rest of the pod moved in and worked together to corral the stunned porpoise, teaching the baby orca the ways of survival for mammal eating Transient Orca.  Equally stunned but still alive, Mother Goose returned to cruising speed and left the orcas to their meal.

The fleet arrived in the sunny, fishing town of Wrangell by late afternoon. Resident crab slayers, Larry and Julie, of Discovery immediately got to work setting a crab pot. Meanwhile Bonum Vitae enjoyed observing the goings-on in the sunny, bustling fishing harbor from their deck. The rest of the crew, Patos and Arctic Star, ventured into town to visit Petroglyph Beach in search of ancient Tlingit carvings and interesting intertidal sea life. That evening Mother Goose tucked in for a well earned sleep just as the last of the Alaskan sunset began to fade.

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