It’s a promising morn, I can see that from Outhouse Hill,
I rock in the swing and sip coffee to ward off the chill.
All is sunrise quiet on little Peterson Bay.
There’s Marie at the oyster farm unpacking to stay.
I take the lush green path slowly to make the morning last,
Then detour to pick blueberries for my impromptu breakfast.
We bundle up, grab cameras, snacks and bait,
Captain Honey calls, “Hurry, it’s getting late!”
He goes first to the shore and pulls in the skiff.
I climb down the steep metal stairs, feeling old and stiff.
From skiff, to dock and onto their boat;
This procedure is new for me, for them it is rote.
Captain throttles down and away we go!
Goodbye Peterson’s Bay and Halibut Cove.
The boat, she’s made special, out of stainless steel,
Loaded with all we need, including more than one rod and reel.
The co-pilot, The Mrs. (my sis), is a long time veteran of this—
how far, how deep, how many and what kind of fish.
On the far shore we see a baby bear and perched eagles.
Then Gull Island; cormorants, puffins and a million sea gulls.
I sit in back and watch the rooster tail as the boat splits the water,
I see all kinds of birds diving or floating and, every so often, a playful otter.
Soon I see the Homer Spit and Land’s End as we speed by,
I’ve never deep sea fished and I’m anxious to give it a try.
The loud noise of the engine and the wind in my hair,
My butt is freezing on the cold metal box that I use as a chair.
I’m excited and happy after so many months of grief,
And I’m determined to have fun, no matter how brief.
The engine finally stops and here comes Captain Honey,
He tosses the anchor, as the day begins to turn sunny.
Thirty miles out and I have beginner’s luck,
I catch the biggest and the most; at least that’s the story that stuck!
At one point, we were moving to a new spot and off flew my hat,
Mrs. Captain Honey reversed and the Captain netted it—imagine that!
Sis is a pro at this fishing stuff and also stronger than me;
She helped hold my rod, while I reeled in a fish…or three.
I’m giddy as we reel in halibut and cod,
And even a clown fish, which looks really really odd.
Sis and I are reeling them in left and right and I hook a big skate with wings,
Captain stopped fishing to gaff our catches, cut bait and do other important things.
Out of nowhere, in the middle of all that the blue,
There’s a spout of water…then two!
After that we soon spot the tails,
In no time at all we’re surrounded by whales!
I can’t get over it; I watch until they swim out of sight.
Now we’ve caught our limit and we’ll feast tonight!
Settling in for the long ride back to the cabin,
I’m sorry my visit will soon come to an end.
The boat points to Katchemak Bay as we go,
I’m in the back looking in amazement at an active volcano.
There’s a huge white plume, against the blue,
Over to my right are the other two.
Volcanoes and glaciers make this a special place to be,
But better than that, is the time I get to spend with my family.
Patti Hall 2013