I took these three photos from a charter boat my father and I rented out of Seward, Alaska. Seward, a gem of a town known as the start of the Iditarod Trail, is a place I someday hope to buy at summer home at. I remember looking up at the vacation homes on the hill overlooking the town and seeing myself owning one in the future. I would come up during the summer, and my days would consist of writing and any leisurely activity I deemed worthy of my excessive amounts of free time.
The first photo was one I took ten minutes after leaving the Seward harbor, at 5 in the morning. We skimmed along the chilly waters through the inlet leading out to the ocean, and on my left stood those beautiful mountains overshadowed by the rising sun. On the right… you guessed it, more mountains. For an hour these intimidating monstrosities protected us from the world beyond, and once we broke free and flew through choppy waters and overcast skies, it took another three hours to reach the spot where the halibut were biting.
Even though we traveled sixty miles from the Seward harbor, when we stopped over the underwater treasure trove of fish, we still found an array of islands to keep us company, each looming out of the grey that sprinkled a hint of its bounty onto us. Several hours later, after a day of mostly throwing back dogfish and getting to know the strangers who had paid for the charter boat’s services, we headed home. In the morning, when the early hours and the steady rocking of the speeding boat lulled nearly everyone except the driver asleep, I never had a chance to appreciate the scenery we’d passed through. Not on the trip back though. I donned my coat and zipped it tight. I remained steadfast on the deck during most of the time home, silently taking in the mountains of the mainland growing out of the far waters. That was when I snapped the next picture.
With under an hour left of an otherwise boring boat ride, that’s when the two charter fishermen who weren’t driving sprang into action. They cut, sliced, and harvested the meat from the few dozen fish comprising of the boat’s catch of the day, and as we traveled back through the inlet that hours earlier had been a dark racetrack of water, Alaska granted me fantastic views of the surrounding cliffs and forests with its blindingly bright cover of clouds. My last photo is one such glimpse of what I experienced.
A day, with its ups and downs, disappointments and lazy demeanor, was one I’ll never forget. These photos were just a few instants of beauty I was immersed in for hours, and the nostalgia I feel now will someday well up until I can’t stand it, forcing me to purchase that summer home and revisit the place I grew too fond of.