Nice Surprise


Aki and I scramble up a pile of glacier erratic boulders that form the headland between two small bays. At first it seems like the climb was a waste of time. Low clouds soften the outline of Shelter Island and completely block my view of the more dramatic Chilkat Mountains. A handful of gulls and one merganser duck float offshore.

2The little dog alerts when a Stellar sea lion splashes just below us. We hear barking. Instead of dogs it’s six more sea lions swimming up the little bay toward our lookout. They swim back and forth beneath our roost. Aki eases to the steep edge of the point and barks a couple of times. The sea lion gang members all head in our direction and stop long enough to life the top quarter of their bodies out of the water. My little dog gives out one more bark and quietly returns to my side. In another minute they are all gone, all but the merganser and the handful of gulls.


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