The week has been eventful, and therefore kind of long feeling. We start out with a bang and a glacier, something that I really like, but I was also shifting from a midnight to noon schedule to a 10 pm to 10 am one, and that is a tough transition for me. I got to do two glacier skiff tours, and to meet the guests, before retiring for the day. The weather cooperated beautifully and we had sunshine and little wind, and not much ice either. Sadly the glacier face didn't calve a lot. Through the time I was sleeping (in the afternoon) we made it back out of Endicott Arm and south to a little bay called Steamboat Bay. A strong wind out in Steven's Passage kicked large waves up to rock the boat and make loading and unloading kayaks and skiffs difficult, and since I got off at 10 that day, I went out with the last group, which was snorkeling. In a wetsuit as thick as a whale's layer of blubber I bobbed like a cork, immobile, as the icy water leaked in through all the cracks. I managed to get myself under the water completely and dive down to about 30 ft, but it was a tremendous effort and I shot up the moment I stopped swimming. We did not bring dive weights.
The next evening we were arriving at Thomas Bay, so I got to set the anchor and stand watch during the night. When morning rolled around and we began “operations” I did a bit of driving, but then was finished with my shift, so I went to bed. I awoke at 12 when my roommate came in, and decided to stay up and go hiking with him up Cascade Creek. I was there two weeks ago and saw a porcupine, so I figured it would be a good hike to do again. Something about how I ate or when disrupted my system then, and I slept about 2 more hours after we got back before waking with a stomach pain. The pain quickly became bad and then terrible, so I got up, ate something and tried to sleep some more. I started shift an hour later and after a short time the pain became very stern and I was forced to lie down. It subsided after a bit and I completed the night without trouble. We came and went through Wrangle and I didn't go see a doctor then. Once we left Wrangle, about 2 hours out, I woke up in the night with a terrible pain again and this time I threw up from it. I've never done that, and it doesn't really help. So then there was a big kerfuffle about how we might need to turn around and maybe we will have to do an evacuation somewhere, plans about how to deal with a medical emergency, since the captain has to plan for these things. I was confident I wasn't dying, but nobody listens to the infirm.
The night was not going to get much better, but thankfully it didn't get any worse. I was given leave to stay in bed, so I did until 4, and then I felt better, so I got up. It was really nice to sleep in, actually. Since then I've been super careful about what I eat and when, but I haven't really figured it out yet. I think there is something stuck to the walls of my gut, partially blocking the “flow” and causing a pressure build-up and pain.
After Wrangle we went to Thom's Place, a spot that I stopped next to when I came up here on Altair. It was neat to go again to a place I recognized, but I was tired. That was yesterday, and then last night we blazed through the night to make it to Walker Cove. Walker Cove is a fantastic small fjord east of Ketchikan, and it has dramatic walls of granite, some near 3000 ft tall. The mountains rise up quite a bit further, and there are wonderful steams in cute little valleys that I imagine will fill with salmon soon. I went for a dip here and now we're heading out to arrive in Ketchikan tomorrow.
Some of the pictures: The glacier by boat: