Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another Trawler Fest in the bag

We are parked in the RV parking area at the Cap Sante Boat Haven (map), part of the Port of Anacortes. Behind us, across the abandoned 18"-gauge tracks of "Tommy" Thompson's railroad, is the W.T. Preston sternwheeler and the snagboat heritage center.

Before I move on to today's update, I would first like to acknowledge and thank everyone who has sent well-wishes for George, either here in the blog or in private email. It's great to know she has her very own fan club, and we are grateful for everyone's thoughts. I am pleased to report that she is comfortable and happy right now, even if her kidneys are not quite up to snuff. We are continuing with the course of antibiotics and the special diet, and are hoping for the best.

We arrived here Wednesday afternoon after a scenic drive from Marysville. We found the RV parking with no problem, on a small bluff overlooking the marina. It's really just a series of grassy parking spaces divided by horizontal poles, but it was empty when we arrived and we picked a nice spot with a great view of the marina. A sign said to sign in with the harbormaster's office, so we pulled the scooters out and rode down to register.

Willa at the office was very accommodating. The nightly rate here is $18 and change (for dry camping -- an outrageous price, really), but when we asked about a discount for Trawler Fest she went out of her way to find out. In the end they decided we should get the same discount as the show dockage rate, which brought it down to $4-something, quite a deal. We paid on the spot for five nights, which takes us to tomorrow afternoon. A short walk from our space are restrooms with coin showers, and a coin laundry, so we are getting all the marina amenities.

Wednesday evening we rode down to Cameron's Living Room, the highest-rated restaurant in town. Deservedly so; we were waited on by Cameron himself and the food, service, and atmosphere were all top notch. We rode to dinner and back in a gap in the weather, which steadily worsened after we returned. By the middle of the night the wind was blowing 35-40 knots, with gusts higher than that. The marina was a cacophony of clanking rigging, the flags in front of the rest rooms were threatening to leave their staffs, and Odyssey was rocking so hard that the air compressor was running every few minutes. I was somewhat nervous that a deck chair or similar item would launch itself from the marina and into the bus, but we never did get hit with anything worse than sleet.

It sleeted again on Thursday in the middle of the show, but we've had mostly clear weather since then, if a bit on the chilly side. We had a good show, with three full mornings of educational seminars, including what amounted to a graduate-level weather class that we had trouble keeping up with, even with our engineering degrees. We also saw several boats we had not seen before, including a couple that have been on our must-see list for some time. Friday morning our friends Martin and Steph from the SF bay area joined us, and we enjoyed strolling the docks with them and comparing notes. We also enjoyed reconnecting with new friends Chris and Alyse, whom we met in Stuart and again in Fort Lauderdale.

The show officially ended yesterday evening, and this morning we slept in. Our friends Jim and Ducky drove down from Vancouver for a visit, and we had brunch at the Calico Cupboard (highly recommended) and then spent most of the afternoon with them. After they left we strolled back into town for dinner at local Italian restaurant Bellissima.

Yesterday afternoon as we were walking the docks we looked at several models by local builders Nordic Tugs and Tomco Marine (makers of American Tugs). These are two brands that are on our list of possibilities, and after chatting with the salesmen we made arrangements to go out on the water tomorrow morning on a Nordic Tug 42, followed by a factory tour at Nordic Tugs in the afternoon. We'll then drive down to Tomco for a Tuesday morning tour there. As long as we've come all this way, we felt we should stop in and see these facilities in person.

We should be packed up and ready to depart before we stop in at the Nordic Northwest office here at the docks in the morning for our boat ride. Official checkout time is noon, and we'll have just enough time to clear out of our space when we get back to the dock.

Photo by pinprick, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Your picture today is breathtaking. Glad to hear George is holding her own, time with her is a precious gift I'm sure you both are enjoying tremendously. The way they wiggle their way into our hearts, is beyond compare! My thoughts are with you and your traveling family.

  2. I met a friend from ADVrider on Saturday. He was passing through St. Pete taking his new trawler home, so I got to go aboard and check it out. I could get used to that too :-)


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