I have had a busy couple of weeks or more. First, Frank and I spent a week in Puerto Vallarta, where it was hot and humid. As soon as we returned, I came up her to the Seattle area, to visit some of my family who have the good fortune to live in such a beautiful area as the Pacific Northwest, and where the weather could not be more perfect. Sunshine, temperatures in the 70’s all week.
I have actually had a quiet week here in Anacortes, one of my favorite places to visit, at any time. On the day of the eclipse, one of the residents of this Skyline area in Anacortes, arranged an eclipse viewing party in a local park. Patrick brought solar viewing glasses for everyone, and gave us a little talk on the eclipse: statistics from previous years, when to expect the next one, things like that. He and his wife had also brought champagne and orange juice, so that we could celebrate after the eclipse.
Up here, we got about an 85% eclipse. It was very strange; we did not get total darkness. In fact, I could not see that the sky got very dark at all, but one of the ladies present said that she watched how the eclipse was progressing by watching my eye glasses. I wear progressive lenses, that turn into sun glasses as the light increases. She said that the lenses of my glasses gradually became lighter and lighter, until the time that we had the maximum eclipse, then my lenses were clear. However, the air got cooler and cooler, with the temperature dropping ten degrees during that eclipse. I was glad that I got to experience that phenomenon, for I doubt that I will see another.
Today, we had a special treat. My brother and his wife, Lee and Rosey, had owned the boat, the Helen Marie, for many years. Last year, the boat was sold to their next-door neighbors. I had met this couple a few days ago, and enjoyed their company very much. Today, Dave invited us to go on the Helen Marie for a day trip.
We made a picnic lunch and joined Dave down at the Flounder Harbor. Dave was very generous, and insisted that Lee pilot the boat, and Dave would be the Deck Hand.
On two different occasions, I had the opportunity to travel with Lee and Rosey on this boat; once, a three week trip in Alaska and another three-week trip in British Columbia. Lee told me I was to be the ship’s cook, so this area was my domain. I don’t know if you can see the clamps around the tea kettle, placed so that the cook can secure the pans to the stove, if the boat is rocking and rolling. It is a very efficient galley, not much different than cooking in my own kitchen at home.
The water was very calm today. This is an amazing area of the country; water, islands, trees all around as we cruised quietly along. The sky was a bit hazy to the north and to the east, as smoke from fires in British Columbia are still drifting down this way.
After we had cruised for about two hours, Lee stopped the boat and it sat still in the water while we consumed our picnic lunch. There were a quite a few other boats out today, but when we decided to stop for lunch, no one was around. We spent about a half hour just idle, watching the water, the sea birds and I saw one little seal poke his head out of the water, to see what we were doing.
After we started up again, it was Dave’s turn to be captain, and Lee had to be Deck Hand.
When we got to the side of Cypress Island, we saw a damaged fish farm.
The dust is from workers trying to repair damage to the farm. Apparently, somehow the enclosures for the fish broke, and over 300,000 farmed Atlantic salmon escaped into the waters of Puget Sound. This incident has certainly caused a great deal of distress among the citizens of this area, for now all those foreign fish are out in the Sound with the native fish. There are so many of them that the people of the area are concerned about pollution of the water, for most of these fish will die. Those fish do not know how to get their own food; they have been fed pellets for their entire life. Also, they do not reproduce as normal salmon do, so they are doomed. The Fish and Game Department has encouraged anyone who wants to fish to catch them and take as many as they want…no limit. However, most people up here will not eat farmed salmon, so this is another dilemma. To read on this further, check out the Spokesman-Review Outdoor Blog, of August 28, 2017, to get more information.
Finally, we made our way back to Flounder Harbor. By then, Lee was back at the wheel. He brought the Helen Marie back into her slip in the marina, just like a pro.
We had a delightful day, and I was so happy that Dave invited us for this excursion. It brought back a lot of good memories for me. Rosey and I spent some time sharing some of the good times we had enjoyed together on the boat.
Thank you, again, Dave, for a wonderful day on the water.