San Juan Islands

Clam Diggin’

No Comments 10 July 2010

Big WakeCap Sante MarinaOne fine morning in May, we left Cap Sante in search of the elusive clam.  Visions of clams-on-the-half-shell, clam fritters, clam chowder and clams-in-white-sauce just overwhelmed the desire to mow the lawn and work in the yard.  Off we went in Puget Sound Thunder.  And thunder she does, so fast the wake doesn’t settle, it evaporates.  Madrona Beach looked promising.  Heavy equipment and provisions were ferried ashore with Bill taking over stevedore duties.  The rigors of the adventure soon called for a bit of refreshment, so we relaxed awaiting low tide.  We saw a few creatures as we wandered down the beach and our beachcombing turned up a few old floats that probably broke loose in a storm.  We picked a likely spot where the wily clams were spouting and began to dig.  Now clam diggin’ is not for the faint of heart, a few frantic hours of back breaking digging, through rock and sand, in a race with the rising tide.  Completely exhausted, we trudged up the beach with our treasure and found a safe harbor with a barbeque. 

Keep ClamMadrona beachCaptain ROld saltsIntrepid sailorsStevedore BillBreak timeOn the hookStarfishLimpetsBeachcombing treasureHard diggin'Really hard diggin'Hikin' backCatch of the day

My oh my, were those fresh clams ever delicious! Dice ‘em up,  blend with butter and garlic….stuff the mix into half a clam shell, top with a bit of grated parmesan and diced chives…..then cook on the barbie until it starts to bubble.  Mmmm, clams-on-the-half-shell…..Life is Good!


High Seas High Risk – The Story of the Sudburys

No Comments 06 July 2010

If you enjoy the the rich maritime heritage of the Northwest and if towboats catch your eye….here’s your next book.  If you like a true rags to riches story, a real adventure story, with characters that could be your Dad, your Grandpa or your Uncle…’s your next book

In overview, the book is really about the accomplishments of H.B. Elworthy, an ambitious Victoria B.C. native who began his career at age 16 working as office boy for the Pacific Salvage Co.  He went on to found Island Tug and Barge and although they eventually owned quite a fleet of workboats, the two vessels that dominate the history of Island Tug and Barge are the Sudbury and the Sudbury II. 

Built in 1941 in Ontario and designated as a Flower class corvette, the Sudbury was intended to be a convoy escort, submarine hunter and patrol vessel.  Her 204′ design came from Smith Dock Co. Ltd. of Middlesbrough, England, who built trawlers and whale-catchers.  From these unlikely beginnings, the Sudbury and the Sudbury II became iconoclasts in the towboat world.  True stories of their tows, salvages, rescues and never-been-done-before adventures could fill a book…..and here it is.  Read it.

Patricia Wastell Norris put her heart into getting all the details correct, and weaving them into a captivating non-fiction story.  The era of the Sudburys is over, but not by much.  It comes alive when you read the book; you will recognize names and places and be enriched.  Now I need to find the four plaques in the stone balustrade that rings the Inner Harbor in Victoria….J.A. (Jack) Daly….Norman James Turner….William Harley Blagborne….Harold Barrington Elworthy.  Who were these men?  Why are there plaques to mark them?  What do the initials H.B. stand for?  I won’t give it away.  Read the book to find the answers.  High Seas High Risk – The Story of the Sudburys,  you’ll savor every wonderful chapter.

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