We’ve just returned home from a fabulous weekend! How many days make a weekend, anyway? 2? 3? An infinite number? It feels to us like at least 6.
Friday evening I met Mike down at Moonrise after work. We decided we were going to leave Friday evening because the tides and currents would be lousy against us on Saturday morning and it’s a long way to Olympia. We were taking Moonrise down to our capital city to sit in front of the yacht broker’s office where they get a lot of foot traffic. The wooden boat festival was going to be there for the weekend, drawing thousands of people. It would be a good time for our boat to be seen, plus we thought we’d get to see some very cool old boats. Regular readers will understand that we feel a special ‘something’ for specific wooden boats, and that ‘something’ hasn’t gone away. So a weekend of boat drooling sounded like a good plan.
We shouldn’t have been surprised by what turned out to be the classic ‘slow motorboat ride to China’ because the winds blew all last week, so they were all used up, leaving none left for this weekend. But the trusty Westerbeke made it to Eagle Island and we picked up a mooring ball next to a group of small motor craft, rafted up together. Words of wisdom: if you want a quiet evening, do not even think about mooring next to something like this. I knew it, but we did it anyway. Still, after they drunk themselves into some sort of stupor and blew their speakers out, we had a peaceful night’s rest and were off to an early start on Saturday morning, against the tide, but already halfway there.
Good thing the scenery around here is outstanding because it’s a long way to Olympia on a Cal 34. I’m not complaining though, because a day on the boat, even motoring, is better than the best day doing regular work. And even with the 2.4 knots we were going through some of the passages, we still managed to get to Olympia by 11:00. As we pulled into the slip at the brokerage, the decision was made that we would leave Moonrise in Olympia where she was sure to be seen by lots of people looking for a nice boat rather than try to get back to Tacoma the following day. After all, that’s where we found her 5 years ago. We’d figure out how to get ourselves to Tacoma somehow, but meanwhile we would enjoy the wooden boats and the festival. Life was good, the sun was shining, and we were on a boat weekend! What could life possibly offer that was better than this?
That was not a rhetorical question. Life actually DID offer something better by way of the wooden sailing vessel Odyssey, the 90 foot 1938 Sparkman and Stephens (yes, you read that correctly) sailboat that belongs to the Tacoma Sea Scouts. We love this boat! She left Tacoma just after we did, and for awhile we got to be on the same water with her. But she is very fast, so she had been docked overnight by the time we arrived in Olympia.
Our relationship with the Sea Scouts, while tenuous, is of long standing. Andrew participated for awhile in his youth, but he is really not a group sort of person and it has been Mike who has been involved with them over the years. He helps them out with their website. So he knows some of the adults who work with the scouts. And he managed to get us a ride back to Tacoma on board this classic ship! Happy Mother’s Day to me!!
Oh yes, you know very well how we felt about that. It was fabulous! If you go to the link and look at the photo of Odyssey under sail, I think you will notice a resemblance between this ship and another one we’ve written about recently. Go ahead. Do it now. I will wait.
See what I mean?
In return for their generosity, I’m going to write up an article ‘reviewing’ that boat and the Sea Scouts program in the hopes that it will draw attention to this worthy cause. Mike is going to revamp their website and make sure they have a Paypal Donation button because this is a great organization and they have a spectacular boat that needs work. They need money, and they deserve to have it. Not only do they keep a love of sailing alive in the young people who belong, they also keep alive the history of this beautiful boat, which was in service in the Navy during WWII. If that sounds familiar it’s because it is. If it were not for the Sea Scouts this boat would be languishing in some slip in Seattle, rotting away like another boat we know about.
So we enjoyed tremendously the trip to Tacoma from Olympia. We were all a little sleepy as we cast off the lines at 6:30 AM. This turned out to be perfect as it got us back to Tacoma before lunch. A generous Sea Scout Connor ferried us across the water to our old marina, where our cars awaited.
But our weekend wasn’t over. We trundled back to Olympia in the car to clean out the boat and retrieve all of our belongings. Since we’ve been keeping her in ‘show perfect’ condition, we’ve had to load her up with sailing gear and food before taking off for the weekend. So there was work to do. When we arrived at the brokerage we found that someone was scheduled to see Moonrise already! We made quick work of getting the stuff off the boat and giving her a quick wipe down, then skedaddled out of there and went to get lunch. When we got back we found that the broker had already shown it once, and there was currently someone else looking at it. Wow! Moonrise was in Olympia for less than a day and already two people were looking at her. This is more action that she would get in a month in Tacoma.
Our car loaded up with gear, we once more found our way to Tacoma and to our house feeling like we’d had a great weekend, filled with sights, sounds, and adventures, not to mention food. I will pay for that this week. We’ll also have much cheaper moorage in Olympia until the boat sells, so we will be saving money. It doesn’t get much better than that.