Boating down to Oak Harbor
0545 hrs Wed Sept 21. Slept aboard the boat to get an early start in the pitch black. Quick walk of the small ancient blind poodle than cast off from home port Gibsons, BC at 0600 hrs. We don’t do a lot of boating in the dark around here so leaving in the darkness is a bit novel. Water very calm and enjoyed a gorgeous sunrise. Left our biggish Zodiac on its trailer in the driveway instead of towing it this trip as we don’t plan to anchor out. Not towing it behind us is just one less thing to worry about, nice.
0845 hrs. Just off the Fraser River mouth, salmon jumping in the sunlight all over the place. Lots of prawning boats on Canadian side but once we crossed the border we were on our own. Called in our US customs clearance on the iPhone with our handy dandy Nexus passes and border decal number and then we were cleared to head on down and have some fun. Saw a very negligently marked crab pot float as it disappeared under our bow, cut motor to neutral and luckily it popped up behind us harmlessly instead of tangling in our propeller. We were so ticked that we considered stopping, puling it up and taking out any legal sized crabs but we didn’t. Our fishing and crabbing licenses are only for Canada and also it’s just not the done thing. It hard to complain someone is a jerk for not marking their pots and then turn around and be a jerk for taking their crabs or even the whole crab trap but this practice is an annoyingly frequent one, let me tell you. But we only know the stealees and not the stealers.
I made good use of some quiet computer time on the trip down and finally made my way through a big envelope of art clippings that I want to check out online. I entered about 130 of them on a spreadsheet and will work my way through them, assessing them for suitability for the figurative artist site or generally blog-worthiness. They include a bunch of interesting contacts made at Las Vegas Licensing Show from last June. I already blogged at bit about the general Las Vegas experience but will write about licensing for artists soon.
1340 hrs. Arrived Bellingham. Walked the dog, hosed off salt water spray, gave dog a handful of extra treats to tide her over till later then headed off by foot uptown. Had to stop for hubby Dennis to have a schooner of Mac and Jack in one of his favorite dingy pubs. I watched the guy next to me do pull tabs and enjoyed a side of swearing with my ginger ale and small bag of peanuts and called it lunch.
Marveled at the oh-too-cute retro rocket look at Rocket Donuts but did not indulge. Saw some uber-stylin’ home décor at DIGS, digsshowroom.com. Got some ideas for some toss cushions and lusted after a Tricia Guild book on pattern. My sister-in-law Rowan’s graphic designs would fit in perfectly with their style and we enjoyed many examples of her work in local signage and posters, like the Bellingham Farmer’s Market. Tried on a pair of smashing pink and orange Vivienne Westwood eyeglasses frames which were only –gasp-$75!!! But I’ve recently blown my optical budget on cool green Bulgari frames with progressives and Transitions lenses so the frame cost is merely the starting point. They were a bit too shallow for my prescription so I’ll try to put them out of my mind and move on. IF I had found them before investing in these recent green ones, I probably would have chosen them instead but there you go… With the Art Guide Northwest in hand I cruised past a few galleries but kind of lucked out. Mindsport Exhibits looked very interesting when we peeked through the windows but was closed and Barbo Furniture was practically vacant as they are downsizing to a different location very soon.
Enjoyed loads of public art in the form of artistic seating and public sculpture and this month, many local artiists’ works are hanging in the windows of local shops and banks. Very nice in spite of the many closed and empty retail spaces. An early dinner a Pepper Sisters peppersisters.com. Dennis had asked a store clerk where the kinkiest restaurant was and she looked a bit unsure of how to answer that until he clarified it with funky decor, great food and atmosphere. OKAY, now I know what you’re looking for she said and pointed us to Pepper Sisters. It lived up to its billing with a great dining experience, complete with cute funkified cowgirl server in white pantalettes poking out under a black skirt. I have some green pantalettes that I love in the summer but may just have to make some more for my winter outfits.
Wed Sept 22, Had a scrumptious breakfast at Old Town Café. I had the Farmer’s Hash with potatoes, onions, mushrooms and peppers with some melted cheese on top salsa and sour cream. Yummy. I generally avoid dairy products so I enjoy them all the more when I do fall under their temptation. My sister-in-law, gorgeous 6 foot tall Rowan, joined us for this fine feast and. I showed her some photos on the iPhone and pointed her to a nice burnt orange corduroy coat at Lulu’s I’d seen the day before. She can try it on and see if she even likes that kind of thing before we consider creating one for her. In a couple of weeks, we plan to spend the weekend down at her place to create a duct taped cast of her body to create a dressmaker’s dummy from. I will certainly be blogging that so stay tuned. Lulu’s shopatlulu.com CMC coat.
Rowan suggested that she needs more cheerful orangey or golden scarves for her Xmas present. Okeydokey, will try to fill that need, as you really can’t have too many scarves especially here in the Pacific Northwest. My son Jake plans his return to Vancouver area after the last 4 ½ years in sunny South Africa and we’ll definitely meet him at the airport in December with a ice cozy scarf. I don’t really knit much but I do buy from local knitters at craft fairs. In Bellingham we saw some random acts of knitting or guerilla knitting installations. Have you ever seen them in your area? I’ve seen them in quite a few places. You know what I mean, an odd colorful little chunk of knitting suddenly wrapped around a telephone pole or signpost. Pretty harmless fun, it seems.
1015 hrs, departed Bellingham. Our previous boat Sandingo is here in this Bellingham harbor too so we pooped alongside of it and took a good look at how the new owner is treating her. Today in the sunshine, she seems well cared for and tidy so glad to see that. Not sure if the fellow we sold her to 3 years ago still owns her as this is not where he intended to keep her. My husband Dennis built her with master welder John Dearden in Gibsons over 2 years and we owned her for 14 years.
Heading south to Langley on perfectly flay glassy water. Hmm, Langley has a very elegant little gallery called Museo where I very nearly parted ways with a chunk of cash on some fine craftsman jewelry last time I was there. We’ll see if I get out of there unscathed today or not. We often find our Xmas presents on these little jaunts to the States. It’s funny but when you buy a gift in September and wrap it when you get home, it really is a surprise when you open it up at Xmas because you can’t remember hand crafted items as clearly as plain old off the shelf stuff. So it really does work.
This is really the first time I am blogging as I am traveling. I usually only get to it after the fact but I’m standing here at the steering station typing away and keeping a lookout for crab traps in our path at the same time. Now, granted it’s very bright and I can’t see the screen but blogging is 90% writing, 5% editing and correcting and 5% photos so I think I’m off to a good start. Besides I have no where else to go and no internet connection, no dinner to cook, bed is made so it’s either write up a storm or read my book? Right now we are in a long thin very shallow channel, the Swinomish Channel with seals and seagulls lounging on sandbanks on either side of us. Spooky.
1237 hrs. Just passing through La Conner, one of my favorite little towns and home to Bunnies by The Bay, the inspiration for my house. The fantasy of escaping to La Conner by myself for a week or two and leaving the crowded busy family behind was like an imaginary lifeline for me for years. I never did come down by myself but imagining it helped me through some darker hours when family and kids crowded out any personal creativity or personal time. It’s still a fabulous little getaway destination and our town of Gibsons should aspire to be the La Conner for Vancouver.
Witnessed aberrant jackass behaviour today from someone very close to me as we overtook another boat in a narrow channel. Too pushy! The pushee gave us the finger and a horn blast and I have to say it was well-deserved. Come on guy, what were you thinking? Very unusual, will have to keep an eye on him. Not quite a full case of small cock’s disease (there is a cream for that) but close. He was very upset with himself afterwards and very repentant. Tisk, tisk.
1337 hrs. Arrived Langley, rafted up to a big Ocean Alexander. Off to roam.