In the years that Jeffrey and I have been running the David B between Bellingham, Washington and Juneau, Alaska, I've grown to know where to expect certain birds. There's an osprey nest in Stuart Island's Reid Harbor in the San Juans that's become a favorite and an eagle's nest in Farragut Bay, Alaska that we watched for several weeks until one day two eaglets were spotted. I look for red-necked phalaropes in tidelines littered with floating masses of rockweed in Frederick Sound, and in Queen Charlotte Sound I watch rhinoceros auklets, common murres, and pigeon guillemots. This year, we crossed Queen Charlotte Sound on my birthday. It was a beautiful clear day with thirty knots of wind and two meter seas. My birthday present from Mother Nature was a sighting of sooty shearwaters skimming the surface of the waves, with their long albatross-like wings. We were skirting the edge of the Pacific Ocean in a place where only boats go. The effort required to go through the ocean waves made watching the birds that much sweeter.