Thursday, September 4, 2014
AN ENTERTAINING DAY AT PORT TOWNSEND.
My cousin, Bob Moore lives in Port Townsend and he wanted us to meet him at the town fountain, and then have lunch. We knew that PT has a walking or driving map of the hillside homes, old victorians from the 1800's, above the port, but the real action is "down town". Nice old Victorians have been preserved on Water Street as well.
They reflect the former grandeur and economic importance of Port Townsend.
My favorite was this old brick clam cannery, 1885. I briefly met the owner, but his place wasn't quite open yet.
But to really get a feel for the city, its friendliness, its artistic bent, its present character is to notice things like this little park made from junk.
Anything that floats in is welcome here. The bike "antenna" has Christmas lights on it. Jim spotted an old bread delivery truck turned into a residence right at the pier's edge of the park, with a manikin head on top of it. He turned one just like it into a camper in his younger days. After we met Bob,he told us that some folks in town want to clean it up and get rid of it. But, people like the funky place. We ran into Bob before our appointed time for lunch.
When you live near water, there is much ado about boats and water sports and water traffic. Jim liked the new pier and took a lot of boat pictures.
And I liked the old pier and took a lot of boat pictures.
The ferry chugs regularly between PT across Puget Sound, part of the Straits of Juan De Fuca to several different islands in this island mottled area. You really need a map to appreciate the jagged coast line of hundreds of islands both big and small.
I stepped into this small boat builders place.
I passed by a bed and breakfast where this woman entertains passers-by every day in good weather. I also saw a thin woman in her 90's in levi shorts, exercising her dog. She didn't want her picture taken. Realize that I'm dressed in four layers and it is about 10:00 a.m. and she is in shorts.
I made it to the marina on the Point Hudson end of town. PT's other marina is on the opposite end of town.
This one is the prettiest.
No craft too small.
Before we met Bob at the Fountain, we saw him on the street after getting his hair cut. He said, I made a trip to our book store, you must read this book and he handed me a copy of "Boys In The Boat" by Daniel James Brown. We didn't know that this weekend, after we leave, Port Townsend is hosting a big boat festival with tall ships, wooden boats and the author of the book will be in town to sign autographs. Bob was talking excitedly, in glowing terms, about this book when he came to visit us at Dave's and Melissa's camp. Then he led us into a thrift shop that had a poster of the town fountain and asked me to take a picture that imitated the poster. Here it is.
I was more interested in this tiny little electric car parked in front of the restaurant.
What a great little town car. Its a Gem, see the plug? We couldn't decide if the projector is a camera or a hood ornament?
Bob is a tourist in his own town because he's just moved here and is spending his first summer in PT while his significant other lives in their house in Nevada City, CA. with two years to go before she retires. We just happened to run into Mari, a 70 year old woman who unlocked this warehouse of long boats. We got a great education about them. A famous boatmaker, named Pocock built rowing shells of red cedar, one of which won the 1936 Olympics with a team from local communities like Sequim. A replica of that boat is in this warehouse, and, the "Boys In The Boat" is the story of one member of that Olympic Team. I can't wait to read it just from the cover introduction. The replica is the same boat, just three years younger.
Some of these racing shells are 60-65 feet long. Others measure anywhere from single seat rowers to nine seat shells, eight rowers and the coxswain. She told us that in competitions you can't fly a boat to the East Coast, so they have a boat permanently there. She rows with the women's team, "Tough As Nails." She invited Bob to learn to row with the men's team. Mari has been rowing for ten years and had never done it before.
She said they don't race the heavier wooden boats anymore, but they are so comfortable and stable, these boats go out every day. She practices every morning at, depending on sunrise, 6:00 or 6:30. They go at it most of the winter. When they are shut out by bad weather, they have practice rowing machines. Pretty amazing. Talk about dedication. The new fiber glass boats are faster and long boats are required to break into three pieces so they can be trucked around to various places for competition. For competition they all must weigh the same. Like horseracing, the "girls in the boat" who weigh less have an advantage. There are over 30 boats in this warehouse.
Chugach baidarkas are also built here. This one is 17 feet long and sells for $1800. They are made with a solid frame and varnished fabric. Light weight skimming with one to three people is their advantage. This whole pier area was fascinating and I'll have to finish tomorrow.