Lights off Yakutat Bay
In the late-night semi-darkness of the Alaskan summer, you see shapes and your imagination takes over. Are those mountains or just clouds? Is that a whale or only a large log? Hard to tell.
Along the coastline, you see hills, trees, bays and that stray light or two. Then one is moving and you make out that it has running lights – it’s a boat of some size, but you can’t tell because in Alaska you see further than in the Lower 48.
Off in the distance are a lot of lights, like a lighted circus wagon or maybe a big lighted wedding cake. It’s another cruise ship heading toward you. Those who came to live here seeking peace, quiet and dark nights now have to put up with these large, brightly-lighted floating circus wagons (or so they must seem).
As the ships pass at a respectful distance, you think of the Titanic: all lighted up, going full speed into the darkness, headed for disaster. You know icebergs never go this far south from the glaciers north of us, but the sight is vivid. All you need is the ship’s band playing “Autumn,” or “Nearer, My God, To Thee” on deck.