Books, Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, Velkommen

Whiskey Cove

1 Comment 13 May 2012

Whiskey Cove .  Interesting book.  And worthwhile reading just for the history lesson.  If you are familiar with the greater Seattle area, Bellingham and the San Juan Islands, the setting will seem like your backyard.  Prohibition was an exciting time (1919 to 1933), and Western Washington an exquisite backdrop for a story that spans the lifetime of one of the main characters.  Big money, organized crime, bootleggers, fast boats and plenty of quality legal alcohol just a few miles North.  Now wrap these threads within the lives of two Bellingham college students and you have all the pieces necessary for a great read.  Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Treasure Island…..mixed with a more adult college-years romantic theme

Denise Frisino has all the components on her screen to weave a really good literary tapestry.  But she is her own worst enemy.  She has all the skills of a good writer, but editing is not among them.  Descriptions are too verbose and repetitive, not compact and tight.  She is in love with her own writing, as if she were her own audience.  Then, when the really good stuff is about to happen, high tide with Nate and Jean locked in a hungry tongue-touching kiss…….. Denise turns on the cold shower and the narrative leaps to the next day.   Hey, the juicy in-between stuff is what’s important.  Turn up the heat.   What happened to all the romantic descriptive prose?  Shy?

An editor would have cut the fat from Whiskey Cove and replaced it with PASSION.

Good book, but it is really a first draft.  A good first draft; lots of potential.  The adult and adolescent themes need to expand and join like the flavors of a fine meal.  The history of Northwest rumrunning is fascinating and colorful, but it’s really background.  The dance of two young lovers is the expansive, but sadly underdeveloped, theme.  Expand on the romance and prune the prose mercilessly.  Please.

Books, Gulf Islands

Sitting on a Salt Spring

No Comments 08 February 2012

Sitting on a Salt Spring is book three in David Conover’s trilogy. His easy going romantic-comedy style moves forward a few years. Now his young son has entered the picture and since a daily boat trip across the Trincomali Channel to meet the school bus is impractical the family moves to Salt Spring Island for the school year.   Salt Spring Island is a social carnival compared to Wallace Island’s isolation.  The island’s characters are great material for good fun and misadventures.  You can think “Leave it to Beaver”, “Dennis the Menace” and “I Love Lucy” for a mental picture of Sitting on a Salt Spring.  It is wonderful light reading with a local touch.  Read it.  Read it to your kids or grandkids.  You can easily find it in the indie bookstores.  Amazon should have a list of candidates.  The smaller bookstores are really the most fun.



Books, Gulf Islands, Velkommen

Once Upon an Island

No Comments 10 January 2012

What a marvelous book; a wonderful romance.  Wallace Island is the perfect setting.  Totally magical.  If you have visited, then you know the special charm.  The first thought of the island, that first mental image always says, “I want to go back, I must return.”  The island forever calls to all who visit.  Like a leprechaun-land, no one leaves without a little blessing, a gift for the soul……but the hook is:  there can be no thought of the island without a longing to return.

So it’s easy to understand David Conover’s love of Wallace Island and his desire to share that love.  What unfolds is a large pallette of the Gulf Islands, rich with character and characters.  All seen through the lens of a love story, between David and Jeanne, between David and Wallace Island.

In addition to being well written and nicely crafted, Once Upon an Island is a true story.  No doubt there is a bit of “artistic-license” woven in; but it never detracts.  The old black and white photos really lock down the imagery, revealing David Conover’s photographic artistry face to face with his romantic prose.
All images enlarge with a click.

This book will make you smile and laugh and enrich your Gulf Island experience.  Whatever you do… this book right away!
Then dig deeper. This book has contains added treasures for those who dare to seek them out. Perhaps a subject for a future post.

Gulf Islands

Killer Shrimp with Cabbage

1 Comment 18 June 2011

A couple of years ago, along about the end of July, I needed a decompression stop.

Puget Sound Thunder, her Captain and crew were quite accomodating.

It’s not often a pod of killers dances around your boat and your pots.  It’s an enchanting experience that most folks will never have.  Add an overnight at Port Browning, a little sightseeing and some beachcombing on Cabbage.  A weekend packed to the gunnels.  But even before it’s over, I want more. 

Even though the images are a couple of years old, I think you will enjoy them…..and the guitar of Buckethead.

Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, Velkommen

Robert Merland “Tolly” Tollefson — RIP

No Comments 09 May 2011

Robert Merland “Tolly” Tollefson, left this world on Friday, May 6th , 2011. He was 100 years old.

Founder of  Tollycraft Yachts, Tolly was a visionary leader. He was stoic and always true to his dreams and passions.

Most of all though, he was a fellow cruiser, an adventurer and a friend.

Tolly shoved off at 21:23 hours. It was high tide. Tolly left in time to pick up the evening ebb.

Godspeed Tolly.

—This from the Commodore of the Tollyclub, Brett Peck.


Tolly at his 99th birthday party - January 2010

Tolly built good boats. His designs encompassed the transition from wood to fiberglass. He was an artist, as anyone who has seen his drawings will agree. More than any other boatbuilder, his designs captured the essence of Northwest boating. They appealed equally to Captains and First Mates, giving him a greater market share than others. To many of us, the graceful lines of his boats, the practical use of interior space combined with rugged construction provide the ideal platform to personalize and cruise toward the next century.

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