After 43 hours and five flights I landed in Seattle on a brilliant sunny day. Seattleites go wild when the sun finally comes out, even though it was a 30 degree temperature drop for me. I reunited with some good friends and attended a meeting of my yacht club, so glad to see everyone. On the Wednesday I joined my good friends Jim and Rose on their Selene 59 and headed to Roche Harbor to the 11th annual Selene Rendezvous. I was to be the key note speaker at the two day event. The ride up was real fun, nice rolling seas which the 59 barely felt and it was good to spend time with one of my oldest and favorite clients. I started showing them Selenes in 2001 and the last sale I made in my career was their 59.
I was the guest of my dear friend Lainey at her lovely home overlooking Garrison Bay. As I had not been warm since I set foot on the cold Seattle pavement, her hot tub was a Godsend. It was so good to see her and I am glad her life is going well.
I took the opportunity to go to Friday Harbor on Thursday to look up old friends. I visited the Port of Friday Harbor, most of the people there I had involvement in employing in my 12 years as a Port Commissioner. One of my favorites was a young developmentally challenged kid who we hired as a part of a state program back in the 90’s. The program ended as did his salary subsidy but he was so valuable le that he became a full time employee and is to this day. I found him working hard just as I left him 6 years ago. I also had lunch with my old buddy, past County Commissioner and Mayor of Friday Harbor, Bill LaPorte. We reminisced of the times we were both in office. One time came to mind, Bill and I were standing on the main drag and a small car with a very young couple did a fast U turn and parked just next to us. Bill, in his best hick accent, said to the lad, “not sure where you come from but here we call that an illegal U turn”. The boy quipped back. “What are you? Some sort of cop”. To which Bill responded presenting his business card with Mayor all over it. No, he says, the cops work for me. I chime in with my card, and add to the assault with, the parts of the town that he does not run, I do. This of course is all in fun; both of us had made the same u turn many times. As we left we heard the poor chap’s girlfriend chiding him loudly and she showed no signs of letting up.
this is Popeye, the official Port seal. State law dictated that we have an official seal (some fools thought it meant something with ink on it) and provided funding to make it. we took the funding and parlayed it into this statue with another grant– so our port “seal” is and always will be Popeye the most loved seal in the area.
Back at the Rendezvous I gave a two hour presentation on my travels from Seattle to Australia, the next day I finished the voyage to date. The group seemed to genuinely like the presentation. I took it to a personal level telling of some of my connections with the people I had met.
The best part for me was the dance on Saturday night where my old buddies, The Rythmatics, played. They even remembered my favorite song; Dixie Chicken and Tom played it so sweet.
Two and a half years without a cold and I get sick in the first few days of being in the cold. Just another reminder of why I do not want to come back here. On the other hand the sunny days, the San Juans, the boat rides all are brilliantly beautiful.
I rode back to Seattle on a calm cloudy day with new Selene owners, Bill and Ball, on the new model 45, a boat that would make a great passagemaker.
This is the first of three events I will attend, the next is the week long gala celebration of Opening Day of Boating Season. The week will have big parties, pomp and circumstance galore and end with a huge boat parade. This has always been my favorite annual event. In the lowest part of my life I watched it on TV from a scummy bar with my low life friends. Sitting in this dinghy hole on a sunny day watching people do what I really wanted to be doing hit hard. At that time I realized my life had gone downhill and I would probably never be involved in Opening Day again. It is times like now that I realize how blessed my life is.