A pod of about twenty orcas approached. The captain cut the engines as they headed right for us, closer and closer, their tall dorsal fins protruding through the gentle swell. Some curved around us in a graceful arc, a few swam under the vessel altogether, while others graced us with a close encounter – swimming directly in front of the boat, breaking the surface, white eye patch and all, taking a look, curious what such a strange metal beast is doing in their waters.
To get anywhere away from the lodge requires a boat of some kind, a canoe across the lagoon, a kayak into the bay or a water taxi anywhere else. I took the boat into Seward for the night, it’s a two-hour ride in and a four-hour ride back as we actively look for wild life and stop at Holgate Arm to take a gander at the glacier. This is possibly the best stretch of sea I have ever seen.
The scenery is just what you’d expect from the park “where the mountains meet the sea.” Snowy peaks and razor ridges march straight into the inky waters, which on a day like today is utterly calm. The wildlife of course may vary but both on the way in an on the way out we saw: Orcas, Humpback Whales, Dall’s Porpoise, Steller Sealions, Sea Otters, Bald Eagles, Mountain Goats, Puffins (Tufted and Horned) and a whole host of others. I plan on exploring the bay as much as possible during my days off, but every once in a while it can be a positive thing to remember that I am part of a wider world; That people exist beyond coworkers and guests, and the world has continued to tick its methodical rhythm, but at the very least it’s easy to say that the boat ride itself is well worth the trip.