We started boating in 2001 and since then I've been tantalized by the wildlife. Being a bit neurotic, without photo evidence, the sightings aren't nearly as pleasurable. Last year I bought a longer lens for the camera, though I'm already finding that for wildlife, the lens can never be too long. That's why you see people carrying cameras that require tripods for the LENS. In fact, my lens requires a tripod mount which I refuse to use as it makes me look geeky and a bit photographically pompous. But the blurry results I get may change my mind. But on a boat, a tripod really doesn't matter much.
I didn't know pelicans came through Anacortes. The Mouflon Sheep are on Spieden Island. They're remainders the many exotic animals imported for safari adventures in the 70's. The enterprising guy who owned the (smallish) island also owned a taxidermy in Seattle. The shooting stopped and hotel shut down when the people on nearby San Juan Island felt endangered. (Odd fact: My brother dated the daughter of the guy who owned the island. My brother is not a hunter, and there are no heads on his walls.)
Here are some favorites from the last couple months. No award winners, but at least they help me save the experience.
Speaking of award winners. Here's a photo someone got during the same time we were in Friday Harbor. Clearly, this guy was not embarrassed to have a very, very long lens. And he clearly knows how to use it!
We're off to a good start of the boating season this year, having already gone on three trips. The first couple were for shrimping and to check out all the improvements we've made to the boat.
The big one was last weekend, when we attended the annual C-Dory gathering in Friday Harbor. We do the usual stuff, eat, chat, compare stories. We do not, however, keep up with other boat gatherings in the area of drunken antics. No one seems to mind that we can't or won't try to be rowdier. I mean really, do these look like party boats to you? Doesn't mean we don't have fun.
Our fifth, and probably final, C-Dory is a 25' boat. It was the Boat Show model in 2005 and our first major trip was to Desolation Sound in August of that year (right when Katrina hit New Orleans, in a sad coincidence.)
Here's a lengthy video from that trip. It was quick proof that this is the right boat for us.
Here are a few shots of the boat as of May 2018, when we finished upgrades to line the v-berth, install a heater, and replace the refrigerator with a slide-out freezer. Because you can carry more food, longer, if you can make your own ice. Also handy for cocktails.
The 22' angler was dandy in many ways, but we really wanted a galley and some heat. So, in 2003 we ordered a custom boat that I still think was the prettiest C-Dory color palette I've ever seen, a warm tan hull and rich brown canvas made the generally sterile C-Dory decor much cozier.
As with all our boats, Fred did a lot of clever comfort and storage updates on Anita Marie.
But, he couldn't solve my biggest challenge: I really, really wanted a real bathroom. The 22 (and the 25 for that matter) could get a little cozy. Note the laundry photos below, taken during a prolonged Gulf Islands trip. So, in 2005 we sold the original Anita Marie and bought that year's Boat Show 25' model. It's hull is a taupe color called Nomad. Pretty, but not as pretty as the first Anita Marie.
We belong to a group of people who own C-Dories. We meet at various places several times each year, generally starting with a large gathering (50-ish boats) at Friday Harbor each May.
Fred invited folks to join us at Stuart Island for the last weekend in September. We figured maybe a few boats would come out in the rain and primitive settings. In the end, we had a dozen boats and a heck of a good (although often wet) time.
When we got married in 1987, Fred said he'd never go on the water again. After six years in the Navy, he didn't want to go near a boat. I don't know how it happened, exactly, but one day around 2000, he started talking about these really cool boats called C-Dories.
When Fred mentions something like this, he's probably already made up his mind. So, game for anything, I said, "let's do it."
We've been boating ever since.