Southeast Alaska is a place of ancient beauty and abundant wilderness; a breathtaking collage of ocean, rock, forest and clouds; even flying into the airport is a spectacular event. The Mother Goose crews flew in from all over, Michigan, Florida, California and Washington, and landed in the capital of Juneau. Even in the capital, the landscape demands your attention. Long and narrow, the city of Juneau skirts the rocky coastline, pressed up against the forested mountains and dwarfed by Mendenhall Glacier. A perfect place to start the adventure of a lifetime.
Bags stowed and boats provisioned, Mother Goose got underway bright and early today! The crew on Bonum Vitae started the group off, getting off the dock and scoring a perfect 10 in boat handling. The fleet followed in kind, putting Juneau in our wake as we struck out for the remote anchorage of Tracy Arm Cove. Traveling along Stephens Passage crews called out some of our first wildlife sightings: a humpback on the port side! We slowed to watch the solo traveler take a few gigantic breaths (No, really gigantic! Humpbacks have a lung capacity of thousands of liters!), and then diving down deep, showing us the bottom of her fluke as she dove. Our eagle-eyed crews also spotted a Stellar Sea Lion, swimming along with a salmon in its mouth! Everyone got acquainted with their boats and started feeling good on the water.
Upon our arrival in the beautiful Tracy Arm Cove, the lead boat Deception set our anchor and shore tie. Once secured, the rest of the fleet expertly rafted up alongside Deception, forming a very cozy six boat raft. That evening, Deception hosted a social hour and all crews contributed their excellent company and something scrumptious to eat. Later that evening, a mama Brown Bear was spotted on shore with her three cubs in tow! Mother Goose crews hopped into our dinghies and carefully made our way over to the shore to observe. Breathlessly, we watched the four bears meander along the shoreline, overturning rocks and eating sedge grass. As twilight set in, the three cubs followed their mama up and over the rocky shoreline and into the forest for the night. As we puttered back to our own boats for the night, we could still hear the sounds of mama gruffly calling to her three baby bears.