Showing posts from September 5, 2010

Getting to know you...

My third day in Port Townsend... the second day of the festival, and I feel as though I've turned some mysterious corner.  I met people, engaged them, welcomed them aboard Ripple, was welcomed elsewhere, and in general came to feel that I belonged here, that I'd earned my keep.  After breakfast, I determined to attend more talks (there is a diverse schedule of topics to choose from), but a disappointing first session, and a surprisingly sunny day deflected my course towards  the docks and entertaining visitors.  I learned less, perhaps, but enjoyed the visits in particular.  Ripple is known to a surprising number of people here, and many others stopped to admire her.  Buddy is no small part of her draw, as well.  He has played well the role of sea dog.

People who admired Ripple wanted to stay and chat, and I learned things about the local boat building community, about PT real estate, about Ripple, and about some of the characters in the Port Townsend story.

A Devlin own…

In the presence of greatness

Day 1 of the 34th Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival is edging toward darkness, but will remain luminous in my memory for two talks in particular that I attended.  The first was an hour of introduction to spar making, by Bruce Tipton, a name previously unknown to me, but who must clearly live in the pantheon of wooden spar construction.  White haired, wizened, and wizzardly, he opened a window onto a lifetime of working with long sticks that gave me a deep appreciation for my own spars (and reminded me how important it is to maintain them).  All of this with quiet humility, wry appreciation for the pitfalls of glueing together narrow, delicate, tapered pieces of wood into masts that stand up to strong blows and long goes.  Bruce has an obvious understanding of the history of spars, combined with  an inquisitive regard for new materials and techniques that honor tradition as well as advance it. I encountered Bruce later in the day and stopped to tell him how his talk inspired me, and i…

On to Port Townsend

I left Kingston Marina at 07:03 Thursday morning under gray skies left over from early morning rain (or is it the other way around?).   The contrast from the previous evening's sunny sail was significant, but the seas were glassy, and that was welcome enough for a first sojourn up the western edges of the Sound.
The pockety thrum of my one cylinder Yanmar diesel lent a comfortable rhythm to the windless morning.
Lena, an open boat with a mast-furled sail, and two rowing positions, left Kingston an hour before I did, and I caught up with the pair of intrepid oarsmen two hours I left the marina.  I offered them a tow the remaining hour or two into PT, and they gratefully accepted.
The trip up took about 4 and a half hours at 5 knots or so -- I picked up a knot or two with the currents, and slipped between Marrowstone Island and the peninsula proper via the Port Townsend canal.  I was pleased to arrive at the Point Hudson Marina at 11:30, but alas, it would be another three hours bef…

A perfect night

I'm curled up in the vberth of Ripple, snug in the tidy Kingston Harbor Marina.  Fees paid, dinner eaten (a surprisingly good burger (gorgonzola and bacon), Buddy walked, and now curled up on his dog bed.

All the imponderables of the day are resolved.  A call from the Wooden Boat Festival suggested it would be good to arrive by noon, which scotched my planned early-morning departure on Thursday.  Instead, I scrambled about through my final provisioning and packing, aiming for a departure that would get me under the Fremont bridge before the 4 PM rush-hour embargo.  I cast off at 2:53, hit Morrison's fuel dock to top of the tank, and the Fremont Bridge was opening up just in time for me to get through.

I was overtaken on the 30 minute run down to the Ballard Locks by one of the big sea-going tugs (something-or-other Titan), which made me wonder... uh oh... The Big Lock!  Sure enough, thats what we did.  So, I followed the behemoth into the lock, and threw myself on the mercy of…