In Sitka I walk most days. I walk because, Penny, the Public Health Nurse told me I needed to. I went into the “Backdoor” coffee shop (The backdoor of the local bookstore) and announced that I would walk every day and take pictures to post on the Internet. “If I don’t, please give me grief.”
There is a particular log in the Sitka National Historical Park that I often visit on my walks. It was blown ashore from a log boom going to the Pulp Mill sometime, probably in the early 1970s. I have taken its picture in all seasons and weathers. I have documented its slow decay as other life springs form its nourishment. “My log” is one of the things that gets me out walking. On Zuiderdam on Deck 3, (Promenade Deck) you can walk completely around the ship. I picked our room on deck 4 so I had easy access to the Promenade (and there is a cool glass elevator that looks down on the walking track. I walk down but I love looking through the etched glass to the shadows below). Three laps are a mile. I go out in the mornings at 8 AM while Suzi’s at Tai Chi.
Aside from some occasional birds skimming the surface hunting flying fish there is not much to photograph. And once we got far enough from land even those birds left us. I began noticing the sun on the port side casting shadows of different ship’s apparatus on the teak decks. Those shadows, change every day, sometimes every lap, with the ship’s position, the angle of the sun and the crossing of the equator. Sometimes a guy stopping during the circuit frustrates cruise mates’ intent on making those three laps quickly at an even pace, so I must be careful.
But most of my fellow walkers are encouraging. I am a slow walker, especially since COVID. Most walkers pass me. Quite often I get a touch on the shoulder “It doesn’t matter how fast you are; it matters that you are out here,” or “Gotta keep movin’” or “Good going honey.” (A New Yorker.) I try not to be in the way but when I see interesting shadows…