“Has anyone eaten bear?” asked Phil. “I’ve heard that it tastes like pork.” David didn’t miss a beat. “Actually,” he said, “it's more like bat.” Evidently, the bush meats commonly available in the African village where David had worked in the Peace Corps had regularly included bat, which was not considered an unusual dining option.
Trips like our voyage on Arcturus can open one’s eyes to new worlds and new ways of thinking. I did not immediately regard the coastal marine environment of southeast Alaska as one that would have the same “wilderness” values that I find, let’s say, on the open tundra of the arctic. That all changed, however, after a few hikes in the Tongass and numerous encounters with marine mammals as we sailed or kayaked.
I especially remember one fine morning on which a dozen or so gray whales surrounded he boat and escorted us like an honor guard. Every so often, one of the animals would roll slightly, tilting its head so one eye would emerge from the water, presumably in order to get a better view of the boat and its crew. It is not every day that you can gaze directly into the big round eye of a whale, exchanging what I firmly believe was a moment of mutual comprehension and awareness.
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