Susan C. Anthony

College FiordAn Unexpected Swim

July 3, 2000

To my dismay, we spent only one night and three days on the boat in Prince William Sound in 2000. Dennis' priority for the summer was to rebuild his shop at the homestead. The old one burned to the ground in 1996. Most of our summer was consumed by work.

Every minute on the water was incredible. On July 3, our daughter-in-law accompanied us on a day trip. She wasn't entirely sure she wanted to go, especially when Dennis discovered he couldn't shift the boat into neutral or reverse due to a malfunction. It was such a beautiful day that we headed out anyway.

It was a day made in heaven, perfectly calm and perfectly clear. We skimmed through silky waters past otters with babies on their tummies and headed up College fjord. I've always wanted to go all the way to the glaciers there, but it's a long distance (requires a lot of gas) and icy headwinds often make it an unpleasant trip. This time, the weather was great but we were foiled by floating ice. Without reverse gear, Dennis didn't want to risk going into it.

We turned back south, went across the fjord and anchored near an old mine in what was once called Golden. Our guest was reluctant to leave the Bayliner to climb in a little canoe, but once we were underway, she felt more confident and even wanted to paddle.

I switched places with her when we went to shore. She and Dennis paddled through glassy water toward the anchored "mother ship" with me sitting in the middle. Maybe it was the tide, maybe it was a little breeze, maybe it was human error, but we swung a bit wide as we pulled up to the Bayliner. Both of us girls leaned toward the swim platform at exactly the same time and were instantly upside down and underwater! The water was surprisingly warm. I thought, "Oh, no! This is her first trip on our boat and we've validated her worst fears!" But when I surfaced, she was giggling. It was a challenge to hoist ourselves out, but the sunshine felt terrific once we did. The only loss was the pair of Xtratuf boots I'd taken off so I could comfortably kneel while paddling. We were very glad we'd left the camera in the Bayliner!

Go on to read Prince William Sound, 2001
Source:, ┬ęSusan C. Anthony