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November 2004
Dear Friends:

He was born only 100 miles from here, but Larry had never before sailed in amoung the fiords of Desolation Sound.

Saturna Island, where Larry's old racing buddy, Richard Blagbourne lives, is one of the least populated of British Columbia's southern Gulf Islands. But what a warm community spirit it has. We joined in for a night of excellent jazz at the community hall where refreshments were donated by various islanders and the music created by a fine mainland group comprising, of Grandfather, father and 16 year old son plus two backing musicians with Mom singing some classic jazz numbers. As the evening glided onward, their jazz heated up to produce spectacular sounds which seemed to expand beyond the everydayness of the local ramshackle hall. The next day was the Saturna Island Regatta (SIR), sponsored by and held right at the foot of the local vineyard. This time, with local knowledge on his side, Richard , sailing Marie Rose, the boat built by Larry's father, finished the race in whispers of wind, while we missed the deadline. Our competitive egos were feeling bruised until Doug Truscott who, with his wife Jackie has sailed a lot of offshore miles and was racing in his 40 foot schooner Tillicum, stated to all who attended the prize giving, "Larry was the only intelligent one here, he stayed well clear of the rocks. We had our keels within a foot or two of the rocks to catch those back eddies." Guess sailing our home, filled with everything we treasure, puts a different slant on choices we make when we race.


This is Marie Rose, the 28 foot Stan Huntingford designed sloop Larry's late father built in his retirement.

We loved the prize giving which did not adhere to any set formula. Instead of handicaps, each crew was given a chance to explain why they thought they should win the regatta. Then the crowd was given a chance to say why anyone should not win. There was a ban on any comment which appeared to be "mean spirited". What a hoot - after an hour of banter, teasing, lame excuses, wonderful hyperbole and lots of wine, - Richard, the commodore, who insisted we call him SIR, gave out a bevy of prizes on a popular basis..

I walked down the waters edge to get away from the hustle of the Salmon bake at Deer Island Wooden boat festival and enjoy a quiet, reflective moment.

Two days later six of the boats from SIR sailed south to the Deer Island in the San Juan's for a local Wooden Boat rendezvous that has become a feeder event for the big Port Townsend festival. We were delighted when we learned that, in spite of the increased hassles caused by government fanned fears of terrorism, we could call the U.S. customs and immigration folks and check in by telephone rather than go to one of the two ports of entry. This saved us about 15 miles of sailing, which with winds of 6 to 8 knots, and currents that run through the channels between these islands at 2 to 3 knots, would have meant an extra day of sailing instead of socializing. Fifty wooden boats, ranging from rowing boats to restored fishing trawlers secured at the marina for a festival aimed more towards the actual owners of these boats than the general public. We had rowing races, barbeques, salmon roast and country music. Then it was onward south to Port Townsend where the whole idea of wooden boat festivals started, way back in 1977.

Port Townsend presented a wonderful sight, with its Victorian port filled to the brim.

This small Victorian town perched at the north end of the mountain laden peninsula that shelters the Puget Sound is a favorite of ours. Friends we made way back in 1978, when we finished our first circumnavigation on board Seraffyn, still build boats, sails and gear and help put on a grand festival that includes shanty singers, a big Saturday night rock and roll dance, a collection of almost 200 wonderful wooden boats, loads of practical demonstrations and good eats. This is our fifth time here, twice with Seraffyn, once as flown in guests and once before as speakers and with Taleisin as a feature of the show. But this time was really different as we came just to enjoy the boats and people. For the first time we actually got to see some of the other boats, to get out to the arts and crafts fair that takes place just down the street from this lovely miniature port, and to sit on the waterfront with old friends and watch the boats sail by. The previous year, the Boat show foundation provided boat minders to tend Taleisin and show interested folks down below. This year many who missed that chance, asked to come on board. John Williams, a lovely man we'd met the previous year, came up to us and suggested we let him show her so we could get out and about. What a treat, gave us time to meet a lot of new folks and share time with old friends. So once again she was well admired and our hearts and heads swollen with the lovely comments people made as they climbed through her interior. . Thank you John.

Larry is just getting ready to demonstrate sculling oar techniques which took several hours as everyone who watched, wanted a hands-on trial.

Looking back on the last month of our Pacific Northwest summer, the first thing that comes to mind is the contrast between the three wooden boat shows we attended, Vancouver with its hustle bustle center of the city feeling where the majority of folks who walked down the dock had never before seen boats like these, the quiet of Deer Harbor where only a few dozen general public came along and talk was about supplies and ideas shared by like minded wooden boat owners, then the almost fanatically wooden boat enthusiasm of over 14,000 people who have driven from all across the country to soak in four days of tradition at Port Townsend.

Serious future wooden boat builders only stopped their pounding and gluing long enough to take part in the pirates parade, a favorite feature of the weekend at Port Townsend.

With the end of the festival came the first really cold nights to herald autumns approach. This forced us to do some serious decision making. We'll share some of that in our next newsletter.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,
Lin and Larry

 

 

And the weather was just grand for a sail down the bay.

P.S.
Last week we spent an hour talking with the announcer for the Wind and Seas Radio show about our sailing life. You can listen to this interview at www.moosemeals.com.




POSTCARDS PORT TOWNSEND

Cindy Mangutz provided her view of Port Townsend. You can see more of her work at www.porttownsendart.com


"Old Port Townsend"



"Cupola House - Point Hudson"


Postcards by Cindy Mangutz
Port Townsend Art
porttownsendart.com
©Cindy Mangutz

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