Monday, June 15, 2009

I’ve been sailing around the area near Juneau with Claire for a week now. There are a lot more bugs than two weeks ago here, which is quite disappointing, and I think I need to get some sort of mosquito net to keep them out. The weather is nice, but the nice weather means bugs, and the few days we had some rain we were thankful for the respite from their buzzing jaws. We haven’t gone very far, and I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures, but we went to this little harbor called Taku Harbor, where we went ashore and used this big pot I got at a thrift store to cook up some water and have a bath. It was really a sponge-bath, and not as nice as a real one in civilization, but it was quite refreshing to have hot water over my skin while being in the woods, with a babbling creek nearby. I’ve been really worried about bears, so we haven’t gone on big long tramping hikes through the woods, but we haven’t seen any yet. Just after leaving Taku Harbor, we saw some bubble-netting humpback whales. A group, maybe 5 or more, (I think) were all taking breaths together, then going down under the school of herring, and they let out a stream of bubbles to contain the herring in a small pack. Then they all come up the column of packed food and take big huge lunging bites, and they come to the surface with wide open mouths. It is really impressive, and we were pretty close to them, maybe 100 yards away. After that, we were sailing along, and there was this mamma and baby humpback group, and the baby was sticking his tail up in the air and flapping it around. I guess when they get excited they move much faster than they normally do, and this one was really excited. He went under water and then came up and breached (which is when they jump out of the water) a bunch of times. I love watching them jump; it’s really neat to see how big they are when they come up. And you think they are small and close, but then when you see how long they hang in the air you realize they are big and far away. Then the spray kicks up and lingers in the air for a long time. One of these days I’ll get one to jump over the boat. No Orca whales so far, but the king salmon are running, we have seen lots of people catching gigantic fish.
Two days ago, I think, I got sick. Maybe it wasn't a sudden switch of health, it might have come to me over the period of a day, but I am now in the depths of an ailment. Its an ill wind that blows past my boat nowadays, and that is a real pity. I wrote the first part earlier, before, but I've been holed up in this little harbor near Juneau for two days straight, doing nothing but sleeping all day long and lying in bed and shivering. Claire has been taking care of me, and she is a wonderful nurse. I wonder what I have, of course, and I have all the symptoms of the Flu, which makes me wonder if I have Swine flu. But from what I read about that, the severity of it is not nearly as bad as they first thought, so its not really any more deadly than normal flu. So I think I'll be all right. Yesterday was pretty bad, but today I'm feeling loads better.
Oh, and to go back to the bugs, this picture I'm putting up is right in the middle of a bug killing contest. We were using those brooms to kill them, and they kept on coming. I lost, and started fishing, after getting about 42, and Claire got over 60. Its quite fun, actually. But the horseflies (which they were) bite back and are really fast, so its a challenge.

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