Today I am proud to present the greatest photo I never took.
Whilst in Alaska last year, I stayed for a week in Craig where my cousin’s husband was working. It’s a 2 hour ferry and hour’s drive from Ketchikan (itself only accessible by ferry or plane) so it’s kind of remote. To make the most of the beautiful, still weather they were enjoying (made more eerie by the haze from huge forest fires across the border in British Columbia), after work, Michael took us all out in a skiff for a spot of fishing.
The water was glassy, with not a breath of wind and we shot out into the bay for about 30 minutes heading for an area where the seabed rose up to within 15 feet of the surface, a good fishing spot I was reliably informed. And, it proved to be, Michael reeling in a tasty dinner every 5 minutes or so. Even I managed to snag a couple of rockfish, which I was all excited about, but one disdainful look from Valerie told me all I needed to know, and we threw it back.
It floated slowly away from the boat, and we got on with catching some more serious fish. At this point we were around half a mile away from the shore, with nothing else around and surrounded by total silence (the occasional noise of a whale exhaling could be heard).
A couple of minutes after the fish had gone back in the water, Valerie spotted a black shape in the distance flying towards us. “An eagle” she said, “It’s seen the rockfish.” And sure enough, having seen the fish in the water from half a mile away, a bald eagle was flying towards us, looking for dinner. It flew past us once to check out what was floating in the water, looped round and in one fluid movement, scooped my luckless fishy friend from the water, 15 feet away from the boat.
I had brought my camera along, and Valerie was holding it when the eagle swooped, and she managed to get a shot of it’s tailfeathers as it flew off. Her son Simon however, managed to get the perfect shot, so I will always have a reminder of what has to be the most incredible thing I have ever been lucky enough to have witnessed.