Cruising in Anacortes
We switched from being life long sailors to power boats in 2008 when we bought our American Tug and became part of the AT family. We all share a love of boating and exploring the BC coast by water. Some of these boaters are out for weeks and months each summer poking around from Puget Sound all the way to Alaska. In fact we came to our first AT Rendezvous when we still had our sailboat and were looking for our next boat in Sept 2007. Meeting this great gang of owners and the extremely impressive factory support team was crucial to our decision to buy one. Since then, Septembers find us on a little Fall cruise south to meet with other Tug owners and the team from the factory which is based just down the channel in La Conner. We had a few days of a great American Tug Rendezvous, time to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones, take advantage of some very good tech talks and get good pointers on the long list of regular servicing we are all supposed to doing on our engines, etc. We were about 45 boats who made the trip from far or near and then there were other owners who came without boats so an excellent turnout. The weather was fantastic and walking the 10 minutes or so over to the building we gathered in was a treat.
We all wished Marla a Happy Upcoming Retirement and American Tug/Tomco all the best for an improving boat building business. They do a fantastic job of educating us and taking care of our boats and happily, the industry has come up some from the harder times of a couple of years ago. Tomco is the engine manufacturer Cumming’s best customer west of the Mississippi which is saying times are certainly hard all over in the boating business as Tomco/American Tug only has less than a dozen on the go this year. Gere-a-Deli did a bang-up job catering the event and all the organizers did a great job! We hope to make the Spring Fling gathering in Salt Spring next year as we have been too busy to make it the last few years even though it’s much closer to our home port.
Our American Tug Owners group always raises money for a local or regional charity. This year it was Summit Assistance service dogs who got the approx $7000 raised. One of our members was very moved when she realized that she had helped with the pediatric care of an extremely tiny baby under 3 pounds more than 25 years ago and here he was with his working dog telling us how getting the dog had really changed his life, had changed him in high school from the guy in the wheelchair to the cool kid with the great dog. He is off to college now and all grown up. What a small world!
Once we got some free time to explore the town, we came across a nice bright fresh art space I had never visited before. Anchor Art Space is a contemporary artist run gallery. The current show was called Shelter and had some very innovative works from very tiny to quite large. This huge pink felt tent-like, womb-like “Nest” by Tricia A. Stackle & Andrew Kline hung suspended from the ceiling, quite nice and the entire space had a quiet almost reverent tone to it.
These large black and white paper sculptures by Chris Theiss stood up proudly over 5 feet tall in the deep window spaces like something that just popped up out of a kid’s book. Sorry, I couldn’t get a better picture but they were grand.
We wandered through the Saturday Farmer’s Market and stocked up on some lovely fresh goat cheese and gorgeous green beans and other veggies. Wandering a little further, we stumbled across a cute one day event like something out of one of those homey magazines. The Island Chicks Vintage Market. Whew!! lots of cute cute cute stuff, eye candy and collectibles but we made it out without putting hands into our pockets ourselves but they seemed to doing a brisk trade with all the other visitors. Good one!
On our last morning, we treated ourselves to a fabulous breakfast at one of our favorite spots Adrift. We always sit at the long metal bar and enjoy the view of the kitchen, the theater of excellent food preparation, watching the food parade as one server put it. The cook prepared a whole tray of beautifully hand formed crab cakes, patted and pressed gently and breaded in panko. I had a veggie fry up and we shared their unique superlight pancakes made with cottage cheese and spelt flour. These just melt in your mouth and we practically licked the plate clean.