Distracting Tern


This morning I said “goodbye” to Aki and her other human at the Auk Bay ferry terminal and boarded the MV LeConte for the six and a half hour ride to Skagway. Five or six thousand cruise ship tourists clogged the old gold rush town when I arrived. After dropping off my luggage at a historic brothel that now serves as a hotel, I walked the Skagway back streets to a nice trail that leads to Yakutania Point. The sounds of helicopter traffic and cruise ship boarding announcements marred the walk until I reached an exposed corner where the wind could carry away the noise of industrial tourism.


Facing the deep-water Taiya Inlet, I tried to relax with Tai Chi exercises. Half way through “waiving hands” an arctic tern dipped and ducked across my view shed. I stopped to watch, then resumed. Just before the first “parry” of “parry, parry, punch” the long distance traveler returned. Three more times it appeared, each time its fluttering flight broken my concentration. “Little bird, little bird, did you fly from the south end of the hemisphere to the north to tease or thrill me?”


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