24 July 2014 | Bulldog Cove
We slip through the small cut in Granite Island that opens into Taz Basin - a spectacular jewel of an anchorage along the Kenai Fjords. It is boisterous and rolly outside, but placid and serene in the tiny basin. Hundreds of feet of solid granite shield us from the wind outside and it's almost eerie just how quiet and still it suddenly becomes. We drop the hook in 85 feet of water, though we are just a hundred feet from the shore. Launching the dinghy, we decide to take Kiri with us and consider the smooth granite rocks a safe place for her. She has been to shore exactly twice in her life - once with me on a deserted atoll in the Marshalls, and once in Kodiak to visit the vet and get her shots. She is beyond reluctant, more terrified. But in a matter of days she will be living the life of a landlubber, so this will be good for her. She scurries across the granite boulders and into the brush - meowing in protest. With Piper's help we coax her out after picking some blueberries for breakfast pancakes and take her near the summit to overlook the rollicking sea on the other side. She is not impressed and instead of hiking with us, scampers into a hole quite deep between the huge boulders. O.K. she is a cat. She needs to be rescued by the equivalent of the fire department. Fine. She can wait. I look back upon Radiance floating in the placid tranquil water and tugging at her anchor line. This unassuming and relatively tiny eggshell of fiberglass has transported us some 20,000 miles over the last two years. She looks a little tired..with yellow salt water stains along her waterline. She has been good to us. She has kept us safe and sound. She has delivered us home. As I look down upon her, with my daughter at my side, I ponder this for a moment. We decide to head back to the boat but first must rescue the cat from the tiny bear-like den she has wedged herself into. Lolo takes off her hat and jacket and lays down in the rocks - reaching far down into the hole and grabs Kiri by the scruff of the neck. She can't really move, so she hands the cat up to Piper who hands her to me. I stuff her into the arm hole of Lolo's jacket and she does not complain. She wants to be saved. We head back to the boat for dinner and a movie and sleep well. This morning after some blueberry pancakes and a short excursion ashore, we head off to Resurrection Bay....our home waters. Trolling through Pony Cove, I hook a silver salmon but it manages to shake the hook. I can't believe we are here. Everything looks so beautiful. The mountains, the water....the water. The water is...is...greenbluesilver. It's kind of Fender sea foam green, but that's not it. It's silvery, Brach's candy blue..or Kenai River green. I struggle to describe it. It's, it's,.....it's home. There is no other color like it. I see my soul in it just under the wavelets. There is stupid chatter on the radio - from Deshka River tinnies here for the Seward Silver Salmon Derby. They are like Jr. High School boys on the radio. I cringe at their radio etiquette and wish the coast guard would issue citations to them. But, I know they are weekend warriors from Anchorage and they have short fuses. Was I like that? Will I be like that again? I have always been a sap. I've wondered how I would feel arriving back home after such a long journey...after such a long time...a very long time planning for this trip. This trip of a lifetime. I know I will get choked up. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow - when we pull into Seward and tie up the boat..to the dock..from whence we left some 20,000 miles and two years ago. But if I happen to be in your company and I do start to get all teary eyed, be forewarned as I'm sure it is going to happen - and probably more than once. We are home and I feel not unlike I did after I graduated from high school - heading off to college and an uncertain future. For I certainly have an uncertain future. But it is one I do face with pride and open arms.