Our plan for the day was to go out on a boat tour of the Kenai Fjords National Park but when I saw the weather I insisted Brian call the boat tour to inquire about the seas. Possibly due to watching too many episodes of The Deadliest Catch, I was nervous about going out in the open ocean during a storm. The tour company told Brian that everything would be fine so we gathered our stuff and drove to the marina. The boat was packed. I stuck a motion-sickness patch behind my ear as a precaution.
As we headed out and began the tour the bay water was like glass. However, it was a different story once we got into less protected waters. The boat was rocking and rolling, cresting up up up up up and down down down SMACK on each and every swell. The captain announced on the intercom "Well folks, the seas are a little rough today but it is not anything our boat can't handle. If you start to feel a little sick you may want to get by a door or head to the back of the boat." The deckhands began walking around the boat passing out barf bags. People began to walk (or rather stumble) to the back of the boat and it was about that same time Brian and I realized we had the unfortunate idea to sit at a table next to one of the doors leading to the back of the boat. I looked at my brother as I pulled out a bottle of xanax (prescribed to me since I'm terribly nervous on airplanes) and pop a pill in my mouth. Brian said, "Soooo...it turns out they make money when people are on their boat! Want a beer?" I said "YES" of course.
It wasn't long after that, a deckhand led this sickly looking woman, used vomit receptacle in hand, up to our table and asked if she could sit with us. All this woman could talk about between heaves was how she wanted to see a puffin. Since she was mostly looking down into the bag or holding her head in her hands my brother and I tried to help her out by alerting her when we saw a puffin "there's one!"..."oh, there's a whole bunch of them." I think she missed every single one....well, maybe she saw one...but that was it.
We walked onto the deck outside to get a better look. As the boat glided closer through giant chunks of crystal blue ice we could see the glacier calving and finally the captain shut off the engine. Chunks of ice broke and fell with a delayed crack crash and splash! It was so cold and rainy outside, but I stood there looking like a little kid in my Dad's coat (I had on my brother's jacket since my mom told me I wouldn't need to bring one. She had just been to visit a few weeks prior, but apparently the weather had changed since her trip. It worked out though since we could fit more of Brian's stuff in the car for the drive home!).
After viewing the glacier and moving onto some different scenery I saw what I had been waiting for....ORCAS! I have been whale watching several times in the Monterrey Bay and have seen Blues, Grays and Humpbacks, but never Orcas. They are known to be the hunters of the sea and travel in pods. That day, we encountered a pod of about 6.