March 10-12, 2018
Be prepared – there are a LOT of pictures in this post. We got lucky with the weather and I couldn’t stop clicking the shutter.
We went up to Port Townsend, Washington with our neighbors/friends for a long weekend. We had tickets for the annual She Tells Sea Tales story telling event [more on that later in the post]. For those readers who are not familiar with the beautiful Pacific Northwest, here is a snapshot of the trip.
Our first stop was on Hood Canal near Belfair where one couple has a place. It took us almost an hour to get out of the Portland Metropolitan area and across the Interstate Bridge and into Washington. No worries; we had some drinks and snacks when we arrived to take off the traveling edge; then a great dinner as we looked over the water.
The next morning started out foggy.
but eventually broken into a beautiful clear day – WOW – we were treated to the rare spectacle of beautiful late-winter/early-spring weather. I continued to click pictures as the fog started to clear and the Olympic Mountain Range just started peaking out above the fog.
I kept dashing away from the breakfast table as the fog lifted. At one point an immature eagle was swooping down trying to pick off a duck for breakfast. But the ducks were aware and quickly dunked themselves in the water as the eagle made its pass. As the eagle swooped up for another round the ducks paddled quickly to get under the neighbor’s dock.
Dock on Hood Canal
I enjoyed the reflection of the dock and wanted to zoom in on the birds gathered near the ramp.
As the morning waxed the view just got better.
Before long I put away the camera and we hopped into cars for the drive to Port Townsend; we headed south out of Belfair to catch US 101 to travel up the west side of the canal. We enjoyed the scenic drive all the way up.
We checked into a suite at the quaint Bishop Victorian Hotel. John is so photogenic, I just had to take a picture. Notice we are wearing fleece. I said it was beautiful; not warm – when the breeze picked up it got a tad chilly.
Port Townsend was just as beautiful – with more chances to view the Olympic Mountain Range from the deck of a shore-side restaurant.
After lunch we walked up to a little spit at the tip of the peninsula that I’m guessing is covered with water during high tide.
And a dainty little feather – too bad I didn’t pull that chunk of red kelp out of the way.
As the name implies, this is a port town so there were lots of boats – docked and sailing
I’m a sucker for water reflections
We went back to our room to freshen up before dinner and the night’s entertainment.
The focal point of the weekend was an annual benefit for the Girls Boat Project.
I don’t know that it’s the official motto, but the prevailing theme is “strong girls become strong women.” The maritime industry – like others – is a male dominated affair. Our friend Kelly has a history of making it in this mans’ world. She has skippered ships in South America headed down to Antartica as well as the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. She now teaches high school and runs the Girls’ Boat Project which provides young women with the skills and confidence to flourish in the local industry. Each spring in the She Tells Sea Tales, women with experience working in the industry stand up to tell their stories. If you are familiar with the NPR program The Moth, you’ll have an idea of this event.
The stories are gripping and thrilling. A couple of years ago a woman was telling her tale of sailing a small boat between islands in the Philippines when the motor went out in high seas. I remember thinking “I hope she survives!” Duh, she was there telling the story.
Among the stories this year was told by Carol who works in the shipyards that build the large ferry boats. When she started as a welder out of school, she was one of two women in a workforce of 750. Now she is the superintendent of a ferry-building project. Kaci recounted her experience sailing solo – in a sailboat meant to be run by a crew – from Thailand to Malaysia, outrunning pirates along the way. Cait rowed — ROWED! — across the Atlantic by herself. These are strong women and great role models for the girls of the area. Kelly is doing great work up there.
After the event we headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep – well good for our friends in the other room of the suite. Our room was FRIGID. Carla and I ended up wearing almost everything we brought. But it was fun regardless.
Jay and Mary Ann headed out early the next day while we poked along later with Elaine, John, and Karen. John and Karen told us about a nice McMeniman’s pub in Centralia, Washington where the BNSF west coast mainline runs just across the parking lot. Okay, I’ve GOT to go there. So we stopped for a late lunch.
I tried to be polite while eating before dashing off trackside.
John, Karen, and Elaine headed home after lunch while Carla roamed the streets and I went looking for trains. It was a slowish day, but finally I got a northbound grain train.
Light is everything in photography. With the sun position, I was hoping for a south bound. In the picture above the sun was just at one o’clock. I had to do some work in LightRoom to adjust the highlights and shadows. To show the difference the light makes I took a picture of the train rolling with the sun directly behind me. So much better, amiright?
It was a great weekend with a great group of friends. If you have a chance to catch the She Tells Sea Tales next year, I highly recommend it.