Monday, September 8, 2008

The Wooden Boat Festival 2008

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.


Suz said...

Those boats are gorgeous. True craftmanship. I understand the wanting to live smaller, like in a boat. Having only your neccesities at hand. What a great life that would be. So much simpler.
I was wondering though, the pirates you saw there, did any of them look like Johnny Depp?
Sounds like a good day for all of you.

Amy said...

How fun! Looks like a gorgeous day in Seattle! Blue skies...what more could you ask for?

karengberger said...

No Johnny Depp there...but there was all kinds of fabulous people-watching, which Katie and I both love. It's a kaleidoscope!

Kay said...

How fun and pretty. We visited the PNW once and it's beautiful. Kinda flat and dry where we live! LOL glad you had such a good day.

B. Fox said...

You are a beautiful person - Katie is too and so is your David and Gregg. Today I sent off for my bone marrow registry kit - thanks in part To Evan and Gina Cousineau. Perhaps I will be lucky enough to help someone in need. I do so because people like you are testament to how self-less we should all be.

Bless you!

karengberger said...

Dear b. fox,
That is wonderful news about your Bone Marrow Registry kit! Gina would be so pleased and honored. I don't know if you've ever heard her speak (they have lots of YouTube videos), but she is passionate, and you have responded in the best way to help honor Evan's life.
Yesterday, I went to a presentation & heard 3 cancer research scientists speak (one of them about umbilical cord blood donation), and it was fascinating and encouraging. You are part of the solution, and I thank you.

Laurie Keller said...

Beautiful day, beautiful boats, and my beautiful girlfriend with her especially beautiful family!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Absolutely gorgeous pictures... and it sounds like an absolutely gorgeous day, all-around.
LOVE days like that. :-)