Archive for May, 2011

i am getting paid for this.

local paddlers






Went out with local paddle for the time yesterday morning. Local paddle is a 2.5 hour tour we offer the locals on Saturday mornings so that they can have a discounted chance to get into a kayak and out with a guide.  Rhet came with, and we had a pretty fun morning. It was a little windy out, but not uncomfortably.

yea, they got goats

We paddled over to Pennock Island and I saw the goats for the first time! Nigerian Pygmy goats! Pennock has a small little island almost attached to it and I had just learned two days ago that there were goats (with collars) living there, so I am so excited they were out and sitting on the beach. Somebody who lives on Pennock keeps them on the island and drives them over on to Pennock a skiff to milk them, and then back to the island (by skiff,) after they have been milked.


We then paddled across the west channel to Gravina Island (same island the airport is on). On Gravina there were some large ravens talking up a storm. As we got closer we noticed a little sitka deer on the bank as well. It seemed the ravens started to pay

three beats one

closer attention to the deer just about the same time we did. The ravens started to walk from the rock jetty they were standing on towards the deer and started to caw up a storm and flap their wings towards the deer. Two of the three ravens then proceeded to fight with each until broken up by the third raven who seemed to say “hey, we are over here to fight with this deer, not each other.” And the three birds continued to chase and squawk at the deer until it shamefully seemed to start moving back towards the woods.

Local paddle was a nice way to end the spoiled week at work I had. The spoiled activities started during the middle of one of my shifts last week when I was sent of a float plane ride to

Misty Fjords

the Misty Fjords. Glacial craved fjords with steep granite cliffs, Gods country as I have heard it referred to by more than one person since I’ve been here. It was really quite gorgeous, and interesting from the view of a plane, sighting high altitude lakes, bogs, and the drastic diversity in tree types from one strip of land to the next based on their elevation/saturation was amazing to view. From one point where we hovered over the water we came up to a waterfall and the plane followed the waterfall up the side of the cliff and then flew over the still partially frozen lake hundreds of feet above. Some of the lakes were still completely frozen, and the pilot estimated the lake we landed on was not much warmer than the mid thirties stating that it was still frozen just a few weeks ago.

After having spent half of my work day in the fjords the day before, the next day I was sent out on a boat ride because we heard the orcas were out in the channel, and my boss sent me out hoping for me to see one. Although we did not see any, it was awesome that I got to go along for the ride. It is always fun to be out on the water.

float plane in the mistys

The grand finale to my week was my rescue training. I went out with my boss Gillian and one of our kayak guides dressed in dry-suits and learned how to rescue ourselves in our kayaks. It was pretty fun to flip my kayak over, unleash my spray skirt, and fall into the ocean. I’m not sure how cold the water is up here right now, but it was really fun to play around in a dry-suit. From there I learned how to tread water and dump all the water out of my kayak, and how to scramble back on/into it. I had been getting a little nervous about my training in the week preceding it, mainly because I get pretty cold some days sitting inside the office with the heat on. I wanted to have on enough layers so that I was warm, but not so many that my mobility would be inhibited. But it went well, I was warm, and had fun too! The dry suit gave me just enough buoyancy to feel like a little sea otter in the water. (too bad we don’t have sea otters here)

so local paddle was just the cherry on top to a week of fun through work.

Had a dream last night about humpbacks breaching, and killer whales eating ribbon seals. We don’t even have ribbon seals here. Gillian says it means I’ll see whales soon. Lets hope so.

< ::please help:: I AM GOING CRAZY the keys on my computer have lost their senses. when i am typing and click I my text becomes italic. ‘o’ opens the ‘open document folder’. ‘c’ centers my text. and much more annoying things are happening depending on which key I hit. I am barely computer literate enough to write a blog, so if you can fix this please help me.>


a few here, a few there

I have been having a wonderful couple of days up in Alaska. Rhet saw a whale Wednesday, so I think I am officially the only person here that hasn’t seen one yet. Besides the whale issue things have been great.

Went down to Mountain Point the other day to watch for whales, unsuccessfully, and decided maybe hunting bears would be easier. Stumbled across a mama and baby black bear up by the zip line course, pretty amazing, we were accidentally pretty close to them, and didn’t get any closer because we didn’t want to disturb the family. Also saw a bunch of bald eagles!

After that I went down to a cove on at the beach and watched some seals playing and catching


fish. It was a good thing i decided to turn around when i did though, because the tide was coming in and my rocks were starting to disappear. I certainly still ended up with cold water in both of my shoes, but a few minutes more and I probably would have been swimming!

Got to go paddling for the first time Tuesday evening, Diva Paddle! It was really fun to get out of the office and on the water. I can’t believe the guides actually get paid to do that and complain when people don’t tip, it’s ridiculous! Saw some sea stars, and a nudibranch. We just paddled across the channel and by Pennock Island. Didn’t go too far, but it was just exciting to get into a boat. The kayaks are really nice. The trip left me feeling more comfortable about coming up to the shop and taking a kayak out on my day off.

Wednesday I actually got to go out on one of our tours. Our 4 hour Orcas Cove tour and our 2 guest just happened to be from Tampa, which was pretty neat. Getting into the kayak there was a Lion Nudibranch floating right next to my seat! It was so cool. I’ve never thought about nudibranchs just floating around before, always imagined them walking across a rock or eating some kelp, but it was pretty awesome to see him floating. They have a ton of moon jellies up here, much smaller than the moon jellies we have back home, but they are pretty cool floating around in their little swarms. Saw a couple harbor seals, a few bald eagles, and right before we got back to the boat I saw a Sitka black tail deer, my first one so far. They are pretty little as far as deer go, but it is always fun to see something new.

Got my first pay check and it is definitely not going be helping add to my savings, but that’s

everything is heavier out of the water

okay. I am still enjoying working “regular” hours, and having set days off.

This past week we also had the lowest tide of the summer (-3.9) which was pretty awesome. There were some tube worms exposed that usually aren’t, and some anemones, that have attached themselves deep enough on the pilings so that they usually do not have to worry about the tides, were hanging off like angel trumpet flowers.

There have been a few orca sightings they past few days, and I guess that is awesome for 2 reasons. 1) Means the king salmon have started to run. 2) Means they are here for the summer!

So hopefully I will get to see one soon! Even though I still think they are super scary.

Other exciting news would include:

–          Finding 2 sea stars on the side of the road on my way home the other day, as well as a Sharpie fine tip marker, my favorite.

–           Finished the book I was reading, The Lost City of Z. About Colonel Fawcett, a great Amazon explorer, and his quest for a lost city.

–          I’m sure there are some other exciting things I am forgetting, but I haven’t been doing a great job of keeping this updated. We are not going to get the internet at our apartment, so we’ll see if I can maintain updating this or not.

living the tough life

Moon Rising over Buggy Beach

Everything I could have dreamed of, and almost more : o) . Loving my new job as well as everything else! Maybe it’s just the sunshine drug I am on, (day 3 on this binge,) but I am just loving it.

The guide house that the kayak guides are living in is BEAUTIFUL with a full view of the ocean, for a minute I was jealous until I started to hear the bickering that usually accompanies smushing strangers in a house together.

My job is great. I cannot express the joy of having a job that you are allowed to sit down at! This is my first one ever! I am loving working in the tourism industry because everyone you talk to just wants to have a good time, and is spending money out of enjoyment and not necessity, AND to be able to be part of the tourism industry, and be guaranteed 40 hours a week is crazy awesome! After my last job, and the ridiculous circus of a schedule I had, working 5 days a week is truly pretty awesome.

Friday night we went out to the beach with the people from Rhets job, which is really awesome that he has some many people working at his company (about 50) and they all always seem to get together. Always someone to talk to and new to meet. It was someone’s birthday and they all decided to go camping. It is pretty awesome here that everyone’s jobs revolve around the cruise ships, because when there are no ships, everyone has the day off! Unlike the ranch last summer, even when there were no guests, someone still had to be working in the kitchen to feed the staff. Also, I think this will give Rhet and I some of the same days off together.

Last night the people from my job got together at Buggy Beach and had a little BBQ. It was nice, but it is much different than hanging out with the people from Rhets job since my company only has 6 guides. It’s a very interesting dynamic so far, and I think I am happy to be sort of separated from it all. I still get to be friends with everyone, but do not work directly with them since I am in the office, and do not live with them. It is nice to be able to visit with them and enjoy their company, and still get to go home to my own house.

Hopefully I will get a chance to go out on the water soon, and have a picture of a whale to post for you. I will get to be out on the water by Tuesday for sure. My boss recruited me to do the locals Diva Paddle we do every tuesday evening for the local ladies of Ketchikan! She did not seem to enjoy the paddle last week… at all… so hopefully I will be able to spice it up and make it more enjoyable!

My mom sent me Stevens graduation notice and I am so proud and excited for my little cousin!!! I am thinking UWF is going to be gorgeous and FUN FUN FUN!

back to work :o)

Started work on the 1st, and so far so good. The couple I work for is really nice, and I think I am in for a summer full of fun. Feeling pretty cold out today, there was some ice gather in water run-off on the hill I walk down in the morning, and I am pretty certain it wasn’t there yesterday. Decided to go to to see how cold it actually was and discovered why no one here uses They think that it is 73 and sunny, and I wish they were right. I then retreated to the more Alaskan friendly, they reassured my intuition of the more likely “light rain/fog/mist” and 43 degrees.

Things are going really well at work, and since spring hasn’t quite sprung yet, I cannot complain about my little office with a view, not of the water, but of some nice trees that many, many bald eagles seem to inhabit due to my close proximity to a cannery.

I am such an instant gratification shopper, and hate calling places where people don’t answer, or e-mailing places that don’t e-mail right back, that oddly, this job seems to be working out perfect for me so far. I get such a feeling of contentment from e-mailing other people right back, or calling them right back that it is exciting for me every time I get a new booking! The onlyu bummer about being in the office is hearing the communication between the boats all day on the radio talking about whales.

to me, they are still elusive.

. Happy Mothers Day .

Happy Mothers Day from Alaska, Momma Bear.

and to all the other momma bears out there too.

Currently unable to sleep and unable to shake it.

I feel like I have fallen away from it some, and this blog definitely will, but it is probably a good thing for me to address, at least to myself.

I feel like when I started this blog it was not only an update for my family so they could check in on me, and so I could let them know how I am doing each day without having to be in direct contact with one another, but also a chance for me to address my state of mind. I feel like I started this blog when there were, more often than not, less than positive or optimistic feelings filling my head, and I wanted to use this blog as a reason to think of positive things and experiences that happened to me each day, because those are what I could go back and read about, and if there were any petty negativities from the day, they would in time disappear, leaving only the positive memories.

As this may seem ridiculous to some it has been filling my mind for days. I have been wondering if I would notice bunnies so much if I hadn’t adopted Dill. I can’t remember the last one I saw before I adopted her, but I can remember everyone I have seen since.

Leaving the grocery store the other evening Rhet and I saw a bunny hopping across the road. A larger white bunny with black ears, black spots down its back and black eyes, very similar to the ones my mom’s friend is trying to find a home for, looking very much not like a feral bunny. We pulled to the side of the road and watched it hop along for a little bit before leaving. Yes, we have been having our hands full with one new bunny in a new house, if I were to get out of the car and chase a bunny down the street what would we do with it anyhow? We were new to town (our first trip to the grocery store), Dill hadn’t settled into the new house yet, where would I put a stranger bunny? and there were a million other grown up reasons running through my head, stopping me from jumping out of the car and trying to catch this cute spotted bunny.

But it continued to linger on in my mind that I should have done something other than leave it. A day or so later I checked the local classifieds and read back through the weeks, reassuringly or maybe not reassuringly to find out that no one was missing this bunny. I hadn’t seen any posters, and I hadn’t seen the bunny again, and I was sure it was time to give my mind a rest about it. I continued to ponder maybe it was a house bunny that had gotten loose a long time ago and now was an outside bunny…, but it was too hard to speculate whether it was someone’s house bunny or not since I hadn’t tried to talk to it and see if it was trying to find its home.

Sunday I walked town to run some errands, and on the way from town to the grocery store lays my black and white bunny on the side of the sidewalk, dead.

I am feeling like this situation shouldn’t be this sad or feel traumatizing in any way, but I am just so sad. Not only is this little bunny dead, but I didn’t even see if he wanted some help. And not only is it on the main road through town, but it is on the part of the road I have to take to work, so whether I walk on the other side of the street or drive by, the bunny is all I see. Just big white and fluffy, in an otherwise completely dreary, rainy, gray part of town, lying right on the side of the side walk.

I don’t even know what I would prefer to happen at this point, or what would make me feel better. Do I wish it would be removed? Feels selfish to even think that should change how I feel. Do I think burying it would make me feel better? I am unsure; I know that burial is a typical, proper, closure-ish type of thing. Do I wish I had the same impulse I had as a child that would have been out of the car catching the bunny, and thinking about what to do with it later? You bet.

I know there is no right answer. I just know I am still sad about it.

bundled up with some hot chocolate

Limpet Rhinoceros Lady

Today is my last day off before I start my new job. I am feeling pretty excited to start working, but happy I have this day off to recover a little since I was extremely sick for no reason yesterday and probably was in bed a good 22 out of the 24 hours. I was able to become conscious enough to move from the bed to the air mattress in the living room for a couple hours, but that was the extent of my days excitement.

Went out and met some of the people Rhet works with on Friday which was fun.

Wednesday Rhet only had to go into work for a couple of hours for some rescue practice,

Settlers Cove

so I went with him and watched and then we decided to drive till the road ended; which was about 15 miles or so. We ended up at a little state park called Settlers Cove. It was the most perfect day. It is suppose to rain 19 days a month here, and cloudy most all the time, but there was barely a cloud in the sky, and the ones that were out, weren’t getting in the way of the sun. We walked around there for awhile, Rhet found the first starfish and the hunt was on after that.

On our way back into town we passed 1 momma black bear with her 2 cubs just sitting on the side of the road! It was crazy! I was able to get a picture or two before they ran off back into the woods as we watched their little silhouettes frolic the hill. Rhet says that both of the babies are year-lings and that it is always awesome when a mother still has two cubs the next year, that they both made it. [Rhet has since seen another momma with babies off of his zip-line course]

With our new apartment being carpeted, Dill is excited to learn she is the fastest thing on earth. And she is also excited to be able to run without having a crash landing into the wall every time she tries to turn the corner.

I am also inserting updated blog post from our drive out here from April 15-22, so if you are interested you will just have to scroll further down to find them and see the pictures!

I have having the hardest time getting these little thumb nails to show up.


starfish family


Anemones :o)




Sun shining on Ketchikan