Identifying Wildlife

Today was a good kind of day. In fact, it was one of the best kinds of days a person can have on land, and a great antidote to my curmudgeonly mood of late in terms of  the subject of boats. Mike and I went down to Olympia to check on our girl Moonrise, have lunch, and generally spend the day hanging around together. We found Moonrise bobbing sweetly right in front of the broker’s office, next to my friend Sue’s “pirate ship”, also for sale. Hurray! Potential customers walking along the boardwalk have an unobstructed view of our boat. One of the brokers showed her today to a client who came down to see a different boat, saw ours, and wanted a viewing. So it does seem like she is getting more attention in the Olympia market.

Moonrise and her blue water friend.

Moonrise and her blue water friend.

What made today so much fun was that while we were in Olympia, I photographed two boats for writing reviews and that gives us legitimate access to the docks where we can walk slowly up and down looking at hundreds of different boats. It’s amazing how legit a person can look with a smart looking camera hanging around her neck, even if it’s just a little point and shoot digital camera with a fancy lens and complicated menus. (Right Lee Youngblood?) Today we saw plenty of very cool boats that made us want to see more.

This one is named 'Sea Lass'. It's pretty awesome.

This one is named ‘Sea Lass’. It’s pretty awesome. I’d love to review it.

I wish there were some kind of field guide to world sailboats because identifying sailboats is much like identifying wildlife. Most often there is no identifying builder’s or designer’s name anywhere on the vessel in plain sight, so one is left asking questions as though it were some wild animal naming test. What is this boat’s shape? What are its obvious habits? Is it a fast traveler or a slow and steady beast? Would this boat live best close to shore or would it revel in the deep blue sea? Is it built for colder climates and rougher conditions? Or is it a lazy kind of boat that enjoys soft warm breezes and gentle swells? Is its life expectancy long and full, or short and sweet? We ask these questions, looking for clues to the creator. After walking a couple of docks in Swantown Marina, we suspect there is a large contingent of Crealock owners down in Olympia.

What is this? Any ideas?

What is this? Any ideas?

Isn’t it strange how the feel of sailboats is so much different than that of other kinds of things we might travel inside? When we see an old boat, teak trim allowed to go grey in the weather, bronze fittings turning that distinguished shade of blue green, our thoughts go immediately to what journeys that boat has had. Where has it gone? Who has had the pleasure of the traveling? What has it seen? What adventures are resting in it’s hull, waiting to be uncovered? We don’t ask those same kinds of questions with old, beat up cars, though.

All I think of when I see a beat up older car is that it probably shouldn’t be on the road anymore’ that it’s likely a danger to self and others. Even with RV’s that may have traveled thousands of miles, the feeling is just one of ‘sheesh, wish this were newer’. There is never the level of respect for these vehicles that one can feel for a sailboat. Somehow, wisdom and experience doesn’t seem to be stored in them the same way.  I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps it’s that boats have been around for centuries. Cars are still pretty new in terms of our human experience. Maybe they just don’t speak to us on a cellular level like boats can.

Look closely for the guardian of the boat.

Look closely for the guardian of the boat.

So we wandered and wondered today about the boats we saw. We want to get started looking again for our next boat because it may take us awhile to find her. It will take a lot for a boat to live up to the expectations set by Flying Gull. The bar is set very high. We’ve come to terms with the fact that this summer will probably not be filled with sailing, but we’d like it to be filled with looking, like it was today. There are also some boats down in California that we’d like to go and see like this Cheoy Lee 50. It’s somewhat out of our price range at this time, but who knows what can happen?

Today we enjoyed photographing an Endurance 37 (the pirate ship in the first photo) and an Endeavor 42, both for sale through Capital City Yachts. I’ll be writing reviews of them to be published at a later date on I’m always looking for interesting boats to write up, so if you are in the Puget Sound area and own an interesting boat you’d like me to write about, or if you are a yacht broker who lists interesting boats, drop me a line. My most recently published review is on a sweet little Perry designed Islander Freeport 36.

So, note to the Universe: more days like this, please.

Kind of says 'Yorktown' to me. What do you think?

Kind of says ‘Yorktown’ to me. What do you think?


7 thoughts on “Identifying Wildlife

    • Mike and I were amazed at the number of serious blue water boats that live at Swantown, so far from the wind and sea. Much more than we see at the marina in Tacoma.

  1. Hey Guys!

    Man, I have been reading your posts and have been with you in spirit through the incredible ups and downs you have had recently. I also love reading your reviews of boats.
    I wanted to pass on that I would still love to have you guys out on my boat, if you ever get a hankering to go out, albeit on a smaller one than yours, but still fun. I am in slip D-21 now… second one in from the Waterway. a little easier to get in and out. Hey, and you can even get a dose of tiller steering! LOL…

    • John, Thanks for the invitation. I was walking the docks looking for you and your boat a couple of weeks ago. Now that I know the slip, I’ll be sure to drop by. I’d love to go out for a sail. I hope you are getting her out every weekend and enjoying that new boat smell.

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