Sharing a Sacred Moment

Mom & Baby Porpoise at Ford's Terror
Mom & Baby Porpoise at Ford’s Terror

There are times in my job that an event, nothing short of magical, occurs. You can’t predict it, you might hope for it, but it’s certainly not planned. It’s because of these factors that one of my favorite sayings is, “Must be present to win.”

In this particular case, I was “present to win,” but barely.

On the Alaskan Song, my captain husband had built us a very custom “nest” designed to allow us to sleep outside as much as possible. For a myriad of reasons, including wanting to be able to quickly determine our position during an overnight anchoring, we like to be up where we have maximum visibility. On this boat, that was up on the flybridge. Problem: it was NOT enclosed in any way, nor was there a good flat surface on which to place a mattress or sleeping pads and bags.

I’ll tell you the story of how this spot came to be in another post, because its planning and construction is a story in ingenuity on its own. But, I’ll tell you that the “spot” was under the small Bimini sun-shade over the most uncomfortable bench seat I’ve ever sat on; Captain Pat was able to construct a sleeping platform for us that spanned the bench and the helm.

On this particular morning, we were anchored at Ford’s Terror, Alaska. Pat had just gone below to fetch coffee and orange juice. It was early; as usual, I have to be up way before any guests to get breakfast started and make sure everyone has their coffee or tea when they emerge from their staterooms. As I’m slowly coming to consciousness in my cozy sleeping bag, I hear…

“Puff.” “piff.”


Again…”Puff.” “piff.” Then, quicker “piff/Puff.”

I look over the rail from my little nest and see…there in the unreal glacier blue water, first a small fin…then and even SMALLER fin alongside!

A harbor porpoise mom and her very small new baby.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but thankfully I had the presence of mind to grab my phone and record a short video. I’m so glad because, not only was I able to capture it to revisit when I want a quick pick-me-up or revisit the moment, but I can also share it with you. It’s not long, and it’s not the best quality, but it is special.

I want you to look at that water…it’s almost tropical in color but is derived from the glacial silt suspended in the water. Then, look at the surrounding vistas. Those alone are breathtaking. Then, you have the swimming pair of porpoises adding to the wonder of it all.

In the course of doing my job, I am frequently blessed with this outrageous moments. As I said, I don’t know when, I don’t know where, but I’m so glad I can be “present to win.”


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