Yesterday, we went up to Port Townsend for the Wooden Boat Festival. It was a gloriously sunny, warm fall day (it often rains in June in the Pacific Northwest, but September is considered the last month of our summer).
Gregg got me interested in wooden boats, and the kids and I came to love going to this festival each year. Port Townsend is a funky, out-of-the-way town that is full of local color (we love it so much that we have discussed the possibility of moving there). There is plenty to see and do, especially if you are an artist, writer, hiker, boater or other creative type. There is a small art & craft fair in town during the Festival. Once you pass through the gate at Point Hudson, you can visit boat-building shops, talk to vendors of various materials, kits and designs, eat fun food, listen to live music (lots of sea shanties), see pirates (calling themselves "marine salvage experts"), build a toy boat, etc.
Wooden boats are different from other boats. They require A LOT of upkeep (love and care). Some of the boat designs are so beautiful that they make my heart race. The building materials and the way they are treated is just not seen often nowadays. I want our "next house" to be built by a boat-builder, using marine materials and finish. I'm not joking.
We got to see (and board) some wonderful boats, for example: Adventuress (a schooner that can sleep 35+ people), Martha (a boat maintained by a foundation, used for teaching groups), a historic tug, a Navy Captain's launch, Beetle-Cats, and boats built by famous designers such as Ed Monk and B.B. Crowninshield. I looked for Native Girl, designed by Canadian boat-building legend Allen Farrell, but I missed her.
Gregg favors re-fitted working boats (such as fishing or forestry vessels that have been turned into a pleasure boats). I like those, too, because you can see the imagination and creativity of the remodeler in his use of materials and space. Space is obviously at a premium on board a boat, so its effective and creative use is imperative. That's why I love the idea of having a boat designer work on my house...scaling everything down, simplifying daily living by thinking ahead.
However, one of my favorite boats is Olympus, which we saw in Victoria last weekend, as well as yesterday in Port Townsend. On Olympus, space is not at a premium; she is a huge yacht. David suggested that we sell our house, buy Olympus and live aboard. Here she is tied up to the dock:
and here she is sailing out for the Parade of Boats as the festival was winding down:
There was at least an hour of parading, when you could watch each boat under sail or power, running back and forth in splendor. It was peaceful and glorious.
We met our friend Dave at the Festival (the man who introduced Gregg and me; he also loves boats), with his youngest daughter & her friend. They came to our house for dinner after the Festival. Our David & the girls went into our woods to swing on the rope swing, and out on the water in our kayaks & rowboat. It was a great evening to sit on the deck, relax and watch kids having good, old-fashioned, fresh-air fun.