Southeastern Alaska. 1898
Ellie stood on the foredeck and watched the lush green coast pass by as the steamship chugged along. The fresh, cool breeze filled her lungs. A pod of killer whales broke the surface of the water in the distance, black and white bodies rolling, tall fins arcing toward the sky, then back into the ocean. The whales exhaled in puffs of spray. A seal rested on a small iceberg nearby, and Ellie couldn’t help but smile as she surveyed its dark, liquid eyes, gray fur and white whiskers. A killer whale knocked the seal off the berg and seized it in its mouth. Ellie gasped as the seal struggled for life. When the killer whale rolled under the waves, seal still in its jaws, Ellie, pulse beating at her temples, leaned forward over the rail, staring at the spot where the whale descended.