But this was the best trip yet. We saw a WHALE. An honest to goodness, humpback whale. I've never put down a cup of tea and a snuggled child faster than I did that day. I had just taken a drink of tea when I saw it off the port side (aren't I boat-y. Pause for you to be impressed...) and I started pointing like a mad man, finally swallowed, and said, "Whale! There's a whale!!" By that time Frank had seen it too and we slowed the boat down and start maneuvering closer to it. I quickly transferred Frankie to my seat and hit the bow. One of the reasons I okay-ed the whole boat thing in the first place was Frank's promise that we would see and do cool stuff. Although we have been seeing and doing cool stuff, this was the big pay off for me and there was no way I was going to miss any of it by sitting in the boat. Both the kids came up into the bow and sat with me. We watched the whale for about 25 minutes, going back and forth along an area (we assumed it was eating). At one point, it came right towards the boat and curled directly in front of us, just about 20 yards away. It was beyond incredible. I'll never forget the sound the blowhole makes. Amazing. It didn't breech or show its tale, but came up out of the water a lot. I am thrilled for all of us that we were able to see such an amazing animal.
The rest of the trip was uneventful and hot. Boy, was it hot. For Alaska standards anyway. Here's a couple pictures of us last year in Whittier for the Fourth. Note all the fleece and the long underwear and the hats... Crazy. This year, it was just about too hot. Frank and I both got sunburned and the kids have a little farmer's tan going on.
We put the shrimp pots in the water again. We have reached a pretty good rhythm with the whole shrimping thing. It's fun. We even pulled up three Tanner crabs this time. The rules are they have to be males and at least five and a half inches wide. The biggest one was borderline, so we tossed it back. Still very cool to be bringing different kinds of (edible!) sea life up off the bottom of the ocean.
Here we are for our regular pull-over-and-throw-rocks-into-the-water. As you can see, Frankie is refining is technique...
And here is Grace "running". She is really into running and racing right now. All of a sudden she'll say, "I'm running" and just take off. She also loves for me to have a race. This means she wants to to say On your mark, get set, GO! It's all so very Forrest Gump.
This is our little overnight cove. A little pre-dinner fishing.
And here's our cleaned, shrimp jackpot.
Hope you all had a great holiday too.