DAY 3 — Fords Terror
For the trip, we are provided charming journals, the paper capable of being written on in the rain, to record our experiences. I managed it for twenty minutes on the afternoon of day one, and sadly, that was it. Each morning when Christine chalked the breakfast menu on the galley black board, she also set out journaling prompts beside the coffee urns to spur us on. I dutifully recorded each day’s ideas thinking surely, I’d “get to it” later. Sigh.
This morning we are well fortified for the day with hot out-of-the-oven blueberry muffins, freshly cut homefries, basil chicken sausage, and homemade granola with yogurt and fresh fruit.
Just after nine we are loaded into the skiff, Jeffrey with a practiced hand navigating the twists and turns of the Terror. The morning’s low gray clouds give way to swirling white and cheerful blue skies. We pass deep fissures in the rock walls, waterfalls of all sizes from gentle meandering trickles to rushing torrents leaping from the cliff face above our heads. Dave and I discover that our favorite feature to try and capture are the mini headlands or jutting rocky points that at first hide and then slowly reveal the landscape beyond as we carefully motor around each corner, gasping a little at each new wonder opening before us.
Signs of fall dot the stony walls in the leaves of tenacious grasses and shrubs clinging to the smallest crevices and micro ledges of the fjord. We are overloaded with the visual treasures before us — options for wide angle landscapes encompassing the fjord from one monumental wall across the gem like water to the opposite soaring stone face. Or capturing feature details such as the leaping and bouncing path water takes from above our heads to join us at the waters edge. Or zooming in to study the ancient patterns created by once swirling molten rock or new patterns designed by lichen thriving in the splash of waterfalls. Do we try to capture lots of details, or try and exercise our minds eye to find a minimalist view of this landscape? Ultimately, we try a little of everything.
Eventually Fords Terror branches, and we take the east branch. To our surprise and delight, Jefferey cuts the motor and opens a goodie box of snacks that Christine stowed in the skiff. Cheese and crackers, prosciutto, pigs in a blanket, hot chocolate, and even a flask of celebratory bourbon! What a place for an impromptu picnic!
Suitably revived and fortified for the return trip, Jeffrey takes us over to the west branch of the terror before taking us along the east wall as we head south, back to the David B.
After lunch aboard David B and lowering tide we take the skiff again to a spit curled at the entrance to the Terror. The shore birds we see stalking the waters edge for a meal are very nervous of humans, and I am unable to get a clear photo of them before they fly off, just to settle within sight again but too far for a photo. Instead, we climb to the top of the spit where there are tiny ponds left by retreating glaciers and home to dragonflies. They are fast little bugs!
Some of my favorite photos from up here are images of the David B floating in a pool of intense color, dwarfed by the towering sides of our quiet anchorage, alone in its own little world.
As luck (bad luck) would have it, this evening while sorting photos I accidentally delete, and empty the trash, on over 500 photos I took today. Well, stuff happens. But, I also have good luck. The David B has a brand new StarLink satellite Wi-Fi antenna on board. I am able to download file recovery software, and although it takes all night and a bit of the morning, I am able to recover the photos. Whew!!
We are anchored for the night near a waterfall. It is a dream to watch it until the light can no longer reach down into the fjord, and a joy to revisit upon awakening, coffee mug in hand to listen to its early greeting.