There She Blows!

24 09 2014

My very first trip to anywhere aboard HMCS Qu’apple was to Ketchikan Alaska. A 5 day trip up the inside passage along the west coast of British Columbia – it takes 5 days because the navy does not believe in straight line trips.

So there I was on day 3 of the trip, on the port wing of the bridge being a lookout. The ship was steaming north at 14 kts, right down the middle of the channel between two tall mountains of pointed rock. As far as life was concerned, it had been a rather boring trip to date. Yeah, Yeah, another small waterfall, just like the one we saw 20 minutes ago. Oh look, another fish farm, yadda yadda yadda… Where was the excitement? Where was the adventure? Join the Navy, see the world, do exciting things! So far nadda, just trees, and rocks and water and…..

HOLY #%(@$)!!!! Half mile off the port bow two humpback whales arched out of the water, their bodies launched clear of the surface and hung there. I was so excited to see them that all I could do is scream at the Officer of the Watch and point. The OOW calmly looked at me and said “Very Good Ordinary Seaman, just what are you pointing at?”


Apparently calling the OOW an idiot is not exactly kosher. Oh well, it is not like there was a whole lot in Ketchikan for me not to see while I was doing some extra cleaning stations.

Day three of sailing, 2 whales spotted and that was all it took. I wasn’t on a military cruise, I was on an extended whale watching tour – even better I was getting paid to do it.

Sometimes life is sweet




3 responses

28 09 2014
Maggie Johnson

Love the imagery in this story but would love you to explain what all you
by cleaning stations for the non navy types reading this. And would you tell some of your paint stories: the sandwich, rain, etc?

29 09 2014

Sometimes life is sweet indeed. I like this post quite a bit.

29 09 2014

Glad you enjoyed it.
One of these days I will get serious about writing some more of my time at sea.


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