Sunday, November 24, 2013

An Alaska Ferry Tale

Somehow our road trip has shifted into the realm of lock problems.  Thus, while we’re in that sphere, we’re going to briefly digress from our fall travels.  While we still have more of our autumn travels to relate -- this seems to be a good time to add this event from a previous road trip.  It happened during a ferry ride from Petersburg to Haines, Alaska in May, 2010.  I wrote a poem about the event after we returned home.  We’ll include a few photos from our past ferry voyages at the end.

An Alaska Ferry Tale

On a ferry voyage, sleep has it’s worth
So we made reservations, a two bunk berth.
To twenty eight B, we followed the sign
Karen led the way in, said “the top spot is mine.”

I followed along and shut the door tight.
She pecked me a kiss and bid me good night.
Me, I was restless, I’d graze the cafeteria
When traveling or not, food’s in my criteria.

If she’d give me the key there’d be no need to knock
“Uh oh, “ she said, “it’s outside in the lock.”
I turned the door handle, but it just turned back
That door latch was jammed like a wedge in a crack.

With the key in it’s slot and us in the room
We were trapped in our berth, like a babe in a womb.
This door had a knob, that with the key in it’s slot
To go from within to without was a thing you could not.

I pulled out my knife, I’d settle the score
I’d pry that thing open, I’d done it before
I scraped and I twisted, as I started to sweat,
But that lock would not yield, had our fate we now met?

Fear crept up my spine as it occurred to me
We might never be found in twenty eight B.
Karen hopped out of bed, wearing nary a stitch
She’d get us some help, this was only a glitch.

She banged on the walls, stuffed a note through the door
Bellowed a yoo hoo, with a soprano-like roar.
All the while wearing not a shred of her clothes.
Should I laugh or cry at her ridiculous pose.

But rescue ne’r came, we’d not be discovered
By some wayfaring trav'ler who’d find her uncovered.
Was this the end, would we both die at sea
Spend the rest of our days in twenty eight B

Would some refurbishing crew in a shipyard some year
Open that door and two skeletons appear
One with a knife worn down to a hair
The other it would seem exceedingly bare

Back at that lock I worked like a fiend,
I was ruining my knife, as that door latch I reamed.
Scraping and clawing, I gouged and I swore
And as I spent my last wit...I opened the door.

Out on the deck a grizzled watchman I found
Wandering the ship, just making his rounds.
I queried the old man, “in his years at sea,
Had anyone been lost in twenty eight B?”

He scratched his head, then laughed to the core
“Twas a new one on him, it never happened before.”
Of course I muttered, as I headed for bed
“Only my wife,” is the last thing I said.



                    Karen captures the passing scene with her camera while I capture Karen.


Passengers in the forward lounge scan for perhaps whales or a passing boat or even a new bird species.



Up on the solarium deck a couple of young women discover a point of interest in upper Lynn Canal.


               Even a crew member gets a break in time to relish the last rays of the sun.

                                        The setting sun reflected in the ferry's wake.


A passing northbound ferry on a hazy (smoke from interior forest fires) in upper Lynn Canal.

              Smooth sailing on an Alaska Ferry.  Can travel at sea be any more pleasant?

                     OK, sometimes there's a bit of chop to add a little interest to a voyage.

                          Ah, but there always seems to be smooth sailing ahead. 

Now that we have you primed, you can find out more about this unique mode of Alaska-style transportation at Viking Travel.  Maybe we'll see you in the cafeteria (after we get the door unlocked).

1 comment:

Susan Christensen said...

Beautiful photos to accompany your doggerel, Don. Makes me want to go catch the ferry tonight.
-sus