Monday, April 28, 2014

Coghlin Island circumnavigation

Friday night the wind was picking up and we'd been told that it was supposed to rain on Saturday so we took the chance to get out on the water for the first time this season.  Beautiful sunny weather, calm water, 60 degrees and ambition led to 5.15 miles of paddling, 2 martens, 1 river otter, hundreds of sea stars, sap sucker, eagles, Bonaparte gulls, and sore arm and back muscles...

The the water was a little rough on the south east side of the island, waves crashing into the shore. We passed blue mussels and barnacles nearly the size of rolling pins and spotted the stars in the clear waters off the gravel beaches.

I laughed at the No Smoking sign on the beach. Really, No Smoking - Coghlin hosts one of the lights for the airport - it makes sense, but I was expecting No Camping.

On the northwest side of the Coghlin, two martens stared at us from the boulder beach wondering just what we were. The river otter was so surprised he leaped clear out of the water when he saw Mr. X, then disappeared.

As we paddled back to Auke Rec, the park was full of families enjoying the evening. A porpoise or two dove in front of us, and when we landed a black lab came down the beach barking to let us know how weird we looked.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

You might live in Juneau if...

I was teaching the story of Isaac and Rebecca to my Valiant 10 class and said that Abraham wanted his son to marry someone of the same kinship.
"Ew!" the kids said.

"Okay, not closely related, just kinda related".

One boy asked, "wouldn't that make their kids deformed?"

I tried one more time. "Abraham needed it to be a woman of the same clan". A roomful of heads bobbed then, completely understanding that the marriage had special rules and meaning. "Yeah," one boy said, "I bet they were Tlingit*."

*Tlingit traditionally only marry someone from another moiety. If you're eagle, you marry raven. See for more information.

More library news

On Tuesday we took a detour on our way home from work to hit the Douglas Library. This small library is out of our way so we don't visit often, but when we need variety we go to browse the stacks. The building is fairly new and shares space with the fire department (have I told you this before?). When you come up the stairs from the garage, you can peek into the ambulance bay of the fire station. It's also set on a hill overlooking the Gastineau channel, which is of course lovely on a spring afternoon.

 I was able to find a book our friend Grey had recommended and then sat in the sunny window downloading books while Mr. X perused the new releases.

After getting our pile of books, books on cd, dvds, VHS, and digital books checked out Mr. X sighed and said something along the lines of, "I feel like a million bucks; I can afford every book at the library!" I agreed and added, "Yeah, I'm so mellow now I feel like taking a nap".

I guess we shouldn't be surprised, the word on the street is that going to the library feels as good as a $2k+ raise.