Trawlerfest,the gathering of the clan

I attended the first Trawlerfest in 1994 in Port Orchard. Finally we had a boat event just for Trawlers, my kind of boat. At the first TF I met the Sinks who had just finished circumnavigating in their Nordhavn 46. It was totally inspiring to talk to them about their adventure and it fueled the fire of future events. I continued to attend TF for the next two decades until I left the business.

This time it is I who is the teller of tales and hopefully inspiring the next long distance passage maker. I was asked to give a presentation on my voyage and I jumped at the chance. This is like preaching to the choir, talking passage making to those who all aspire to dreams of long voyages.

I offered to take one of the brokerage boats up to the event and called a potential findacrew crew member in San Diego to come along. Marissa was very interested in joining our crew so a chance to meet and ride in a similar boat was a great opportunity for her. She will be a great crew member and I look forward to seeing her in a few months.

We arrived in Anacortes as a flood of trawlers all packed into the marina. We came up through the LaConner slew which had been neglected for some years and was much shallower that I remembered. I hear the Corp of Engineers is planning on doing the overdue dredging soon. This is a very picturesque passage through the slew and into the fishing village of La Conner. I have always loved this part of the trip. We stopped at LaConner for lunch and watched the steady parade of trawlers heading to TF.

I spent the first days of TF seeing old friends who were very happy to hear of my successful voyages. I was beseeched by comments like “you look great”, “you are so relaxed” “ wow, you have changed” and “you are living the life”. It is rewarding to receive so many warm welcomes from those in the boating industry. I got caught up on the buzz in the biz and who was where and sadly those who had not survived the economic down turn. It was also good to see my friends from Passagemaker Magazine who sponsor the event, especially my good friend John Wooldridge the editor. John has joined me for three trips on Furthur.

I gave my presentation on Friday, I was nervous as this is the first time I have talked about my trip to a paid audience. I worked endlessly—mostly due to my lack of skill- putting the pictures on Powerpoint and practicing the talk. The talk went very well it seemed and I heard many praises afterward. It is easy to talk passionately about something you are passionate about.

As the event wrapped up I felt sharp bite as I realized I might not be back this way for along time, most of my ties to the area are gone. With no living parents and a small family I

do not have the draw to return. I will leave with a bit of remorse and a ton of excitement about future adventures.Look for some real interesting news as the new crew joins Furthur