Great Bear Rainforest Day 2

Journal entry for Day 2 of my Great Bear Rainforest adventure:

September 3, 2013 Tuesday

Crossing the Hardy Entrance

I awoke to the sound of the engine starting.

Last night, the cove in which we anchored was like glass, the pine-covered islands shrouded in fog. The sky was cluttered with stars, the cup of the big dipper pointing to the North Star. The Milky Way slid across the dark sky like sea mist.

The fog has burned off. Captain Dave tells us today’s crossing will be the smoothest he’s seen. A few swells here and there, but generally calm.

I feel my father. I can see him at the helm. Hear him yelling commands. I wish I could tell him of my adventure. Were it not for him, I wouldn’t have chosen this trip. When I begin to feel the grief envelop me, I think of Sophie. I conjure her meow in the early morning hours–“Mamamama.” My chest, which has seized into a fist, begins to relax.

It’s another unusually warm day. The sun’s rays dance on the sea. The shimmer closest to me, large chunks. It spreads across the water receding into a mass of shimmery white light at the horizon. Farther ahead I see a silver fog masking the bottom edge of the shoreline, growing wider until, at the farthest point, the entire land mass is hidden.

Steve stopped having adventures decades ago. The alcohol killed his wanderlust. He needed to stay close to home. Close to the bottle. I thought that having gotten sober, I’d get to take him into nature and remind him how it heals our wounds. Instead, I’m healing my own.

Only I don’t feel like I’m healing out here. I feel like the scab has been ripped off–the ache naked and raw. I feel like I have to work extra hard out here to keep from falling apart. Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing these past months–holding myself together by sheer force of will. Maybe I need to allow myself to fall apart. If I were alone on this boat, I would.

It’s warm here on the bow. I’ve unzipped my hoodie with nothing underneath but a t-shirt.

The strip of fog is edging closer. Will it disappear once we reach it? Or will it envelop us?

Some of the others saw a seal this morning before I came on deck. Captain Dave says there are humpbacks in the area. I keep an eye out. I’ve seen sea birds this morning. No other wildlife.

I love the sound of the bow cutting through the water–like a perpetual wave crashing against the shore. Like a mantra. Or a lullaby.

I shall stop writing for a moment, and just be.

And I had a cry. A little one.

We’re catching up to the fog now. It didn’t disappear into the horizon. The air is cooler now.

Growing up, I spent many hours on the bow of the boat. Alone. It’s my spot. It’s my spot now. It’s the place on the boat you can find solitude.

Hoodie off. Hoodie on.

And then the humpback begin breaching. Mist from their blowholes. The sound. Ffffffftowwwwwww.

Do you see things better through the viewfinder? Or do you miss them, focusing on the shot?

And now for a few of the photos I took this day. So hard to choose! When you have mom and baby humpbacks, which photos do you post? And what about all the other photos that day? I narrowed it down to a mere 26. And I’ve learned how to post a photo gallery.


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