Wednesday, March 02, 2005
A piece of the action
A floating piece of The Prince William Sound
I have already established that my parents are kinda crazy. They are where I got my craziness from. Well, the Native American's in Alaska would call my dad "Insane". The reason.....he got out of his boat and climbed onto a floating piece of an Alaskan Glacier, just like the one above.
My dad spent two years in Tatitlek, AK rebuilding an "Eskimo" village. My family had the great fortune of visiting him for a whole summer. I was about eight, and I have many fond memories of Alaska, as do most of my family members. I think that God knew I was destined to by the wife of a "professional student" and gave me a lot of wonderful adventures as a kid, to make up for the first ten years of geographical monotany in my marriage.
One of the memories, that I do not like to think about from my stay in Alaska was the day that my Dad took us to Prince William Sound. It was a stormy day and my mom refused to come with us. She stayed home with the baby. I think her and my dad had some kind of arguement about whether or not we should go, but my dad won, like usual, and he loaded the six of us into our little "skipper."
Touring the Prince William Sound in a skipper is unheard of. On a stormy day, it was a suicide attempt. I do recall some of the MOST beautiful scenery. A glacier is truly AMAZING! As we crept closer and closer, we heard the cracking of the ice breaking of the glacier. We spotted many seals, Bald Eagles, and Polar Bears. We also witnessed a few Cruise ships go by.
We also saw the HUGE pieces of glacier, like the one above, popping up from all parts of the ocean floor. Call me a BABY, but I was scared! It was so hard to have so many emotions at once: I was in pure AWE at the beauty, yet terrified that I would never live to tell anyone about it.
As if just being there wasn't enough sensory overload for us kids, my Dad had a better idea to ensure that we would all get the MOST from the experience. He anchored the boat to a floating piece of ice and proceeded to climb out onto it. This thrilled my older brothers who begged for their chance at it. The rest of us children were content to just observe, but my Dad cajoled us each to take a turn.
We all got up on the floating ice without being tethered to anything. Dad made sure that we each ventured to the middle to see the "Black Hole". This was a hole big enough for any one of us kids to fall into and never come back, because we would be stuck under the water that lay under the iceberg. This was when I called it quits. I begged to get back in the boat. My dad relented, and for what seemed like a year, I sat in the boat wondering that if the rest of the family died, would I be able to drive the boat back to some kind of civilization.
Well, everyone, by some miracle of God, made it back into the boat. A few minutes later, dad stopped the boat about 100 feet away so that we could look back on the iceberg that we had "conquered". My brother got a bad feeling and told my dad he needed to move the boat NOW. My dad did, and we were on our way. Not more than 10 seconds later, a huge piece of the glacier popped up right where we had stopped. We would have been like a sitting minature Titanic.
The way home was the worst part of the trip. The storm was in full blast and we were being tossed to and fro (like it says in the Bible) by the storms of the sea. My brother and sisters and I all bunkered down in the part of the boat the was jimmyrigged by my dad with a plywood shelter. We were all being tossed to and fro and as I lay down close to my sister Shannon; both of us holding on for dear life, she got sick to her stomach.
I can't really find any humor to this story, except that it is no wonder that I have huge issues about PROTECTING my children. Looking back, I have to say, it really was a piece of action that was ONE OF A KIND.