A Final Night’s Expedition Report
It started with a tour of Sitka town,
where ravens are raucous and eagles abound,
Tlingits and Russians and rainforest tall,
church, shops, and totems, we saw it all
Then embarked the ship,
intros and a sip,
and slipped away North,
as explorers went forth
unsure what we’d find
but with bears in mind,
and then, there, we saw one,
furry and rotund,
hoping to be fatter,
fishing near a salmon-stream-ladder.
Next it was whales,
a few blows, a few tails,
then look! the great prize
the bubblenet guys!
A mountain of whales erupt from the sea
front row to the feast: you and me.
In Chatham Strait,
in Glacier Bay,
a gorgeous day.
Mama bear on the beach,
goats within reach,
sea lions groaning,
a walk in the gloaming.
Then Point Retreat Light and a forest wander
we were wet while we listened and pondered:
how did Dave stay dry in the rain?
and could we cross that rocky beach again, without pain?
Juneau the gold town, now a government place
waterfalls racing at a furious pace
the museum with its treasures
and opportunity to measure
huge ships versus ours
(we gave ourselves four stars).
Tracy Arm sculptures of ice crystal blue
steep rocky cliffs that it carved right through,
small boats and a walk
then in for some talk
while we sailed to the town where they plundered
wealth from the sea, and we wandered
the docks and look under to see creatures thriving,
like those Justin sees diving.
Now onward, to Snow Pass, the whales they are waiting
we watch for their lunges, with breaths abaiting.
The beautiful sunset of another day
predicts Misty Fjords, not misty, where we play
in kayaks and boats.
Prince Rupert is Canada, B.C. at last
where Tsimisian culture stretches into the past
we are honored guests at the Winter Feast
from the greatest of clans, down to the least.
A morning of cruising,
the shorelines perusing
then into the boats to see
nudibranchs wave like fans, and tall trees.
Or a forested walk, on the mossy ground
where our footfalls made nary a sound
while the tide crept in, forcing a rest
or a swim, or a footsoak – Luna was best.
In Alert Bay we learned and made merry
with story and dance, and blackberry,
then on to the dolphins, sleek grey and white
on the bow, all around, there’s no word but: delight.
Though we squeezed in a talk, the cameras weren’t done;
here’s the challenge of shooting orca whales in the sun.
Ripple Rock, Seymour Narrows, and on, ever South
we’re experienced sailors, it’s been a long path,
and we sail the San Juans with smiles on our faces;
we’ve found friends and been to these wonderful places.
Now the ending is near to our epic trip,
but to finish this poem, here’s Nat Geo guy Flip:
“Oceans are blue, killer whales are black and white,
It has been a great trip, have a good night”.