Aki’s back on the water. This morning she and her humans boarded a small landing craft to visit an island lighthouse. We bounce up Favorite Channel and into the deep-water fjord called “Lynn Canal. Having just having finished reading a book about John Muir’s visit to these waters in the 1800’s, I try to imagine the bearded naturalist helping to paddle a cedar canoe up the canal and into the Chilkat River. His neck must have been sore by the end of each day since he must have spent hours staring up at the steep mountains left behind when the glaciers retreated north.
Muir made the trip in October, a time of storms and rain. It’s sunny and warm today. When she is not hunting the boat deck for snacks, Aki climbs up into someone’s lap where sunlight coming through a window could warm her curly fur.
A small pod of killer whales hunt off Point Bridget as we pass. One of their young flings itself out of the water and then knifes back through it, splashing its parent. All the humans on the boat go out on the deck to watch. Aki wanders around our feet, waiting for someone to come to his or her senses and pay attention to her rather than some big wet whale.
Aki has to wade in chest deep water to reach the beach of the lighthouse island. Everyone but the little dog carries picnic stuff and other supplies up the lighthouse, which sits on top of a low volcanic plug. After lunch the humans split up. Some explore the lighthouse building. Others relaxed in the sun. I went onto the beach to watch a group of quarrelsome oystercatchers and swimming seals. Aki ran back and forth checking up on every one of us.