I rode through the Harbor this morning on my way to work at KUSP. It was that same bizarre mixture of normalcy and disaster that I experienced during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.
The sun is shining through the fog, gulls are gliding through the clear air, birds singing in the trees. Lucy, the Harbor goose, is pulling grass in her accustomed place between the missing kayak dock and the ravaged G Dock, patiently waiting for her human friends to bring her breakfast.
Then there’s the gaping hole where U Dock used to be, masts sticking forlornly out of the water in seemingly empty slips, debris floating serenely on the calm water, the gathering of emergency trucks and personnel dominating the parking lot at the Harbormaster’s building. Muddy and broken boats sit awry on the asphalt, lying on beds of plastic sheeting, propped up by tripods borrowed for the boat works next door. Uniformed men stand around in clots, too many to do the work left to be done, but necessary in the regimented Coast Guard bureacracy.
The beach is littered with dock parts and bits of broken boats. The surf rolls in rhythmically, counting the moments since the sea savaged the harbor beyond. The light house looks out over all, above the damage, looking out into an uncertain future.