Tag archive for "Bellingham"

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, Velkommen

More Faster Backwards: rebuilding David B

No Comments 07 March 2012

It is great fun to read books with a local flair.  So much of the scene is already created, it’s easy to form mental images of the places and events.  Restoring an old wooden boat is a romantic undertaking, probably foolish from an accountants viewpoint, probably inevitable from a dreamers window.  The David B began life as a bowpacker, built to haul fish.  Now she is hauling passengers and the dreams of Jeffrey and Christine Smith.  The David B is a relic of the last century and she will be forever trying to slide back in time, return to her roots, no matter how much hard work and money is expended on her.  She is a callous-producing, sliver-inducing constant reminder that all things are temporary.  She thrives on love but can fade in the space between heartbeats.

What do you say to a young couple intent on rebuilding an 80+ year old boat?  You give ‘em all the encouragement you can.  And a big smile, because they are following their dream.  Do you think dreams run More Faster Backwards?

Good book.  Fun read.  Best if you are a Northwest type.  Severely in need of an editor.  Christine throws in an awkward F-bomb occasionally.  I talked to her about it at the 2012 Seattle Boat Show.  She bristled and said she was trying to be authentic.  I call BS.  Authentic dock language is much stronger than her writing.  That’s why I take exception to this detail.  She is trying to sell a book and promote a fledgeling cruise buisness.  No need for gratuitous language.  No need to alienate potential customers.  Polish the brightwork, pump the bilges over the side.

A romantic’s words:  “I want to be authentic.”  Quite lovely, often bittersweet.  The David B needs constant maintenance, the cruise buisness is crowded and competive, the economy is soggy, the weather more soggy.  Following a dream in a niche market.  AHOY.  I wish you luck and a sharp eye.  Long live your love.  Long live the David B.

Web sites for the David Bhttp://northwestnavigation.com/ or http://morefasterbackwards.com/


B Dock, Velkommen

Aloha and Mahalo on B dock

No Comments 26 September 2011

Welcome home, Nuance. After a September adventure in the islands Howard and Nancy eased into their slip just in time for Oyster Run weekend and just ahead of the predicted stormy weather.   Check out the clear bottom on the Seward kayaks.  I guess you could claim that they are made locally.  Chemainus is really nearby, just on the other side of the border.

I was saddened to hear that Legacy, my dock-neighbor for many years, has been sold.  She is a 1999 Norstar 30.  Built to last in Bellingham.  Look close at her brawny Northwest lines.  There are several generations of boatbuilding history written there.  Word has it that after a few months on the hard she’s moving to Skagway.

San Juan Islands, Velkommen

Lunch at Eagle Harbor

No Comments 26 April 2010

Click on a thumbnail for a larger pic.

02-Luann2_tn The Admiral wanted to take advantage of one of the few sunny Spring days the weather-person so very generously granted the Pacific NorthWet and go for a boat ride. 02-Velkommen_tn
04-YellowBluff_tn We decided on a lap of Guemes Island with a lunch stop at Eagle Harbor. This was her first time aboard since the hull was modified by Jeff Harman at OceanAire Yachts. So it was the ultimate test to see if she liked the changes. Out Guemes Channel, around Yellow Bluff and up Bellingham Channel to Eagle Harbor on the Northeast corner of Cypress Island.
Velkommen’s new-found stablity made the Admiral happy and life is good! I wish you could have joined us for lunch. The view from the deck was marvelous and, well…..panoramic. “Aye matey, would you happen to have any Grey Poupon?”

If you open the panorama to full size you will probably have to scroll from side to side; just an attempt to magnify the freshness of a sunny April Sunday in the San Juans.  For the full effect, you just have to be there.


OceanAire Mods – phase 7

3 Comments 17 April 2010

The wait is over. April 14 was the big day. Velkommen came out of hibernation and and gave the salty waters of Bellingham Bay a big wet kiss. Then proceeded to settle into the new hull shape with it’s smooth black paint. The experience at OceanAire has been first-class. We stayed on-budget, the workmanship is flawless and the customer service is so refreshing…..it makes me believe in people again. Good people. Honest people. City life twists that paradigm at ‘most every opportunity. Part of the reason it’s so essential to get out on the water. Heal up. Keep movin’.
Click on a thumbnail for a larger pic.

01-Velk-Bham_tn There seemed to be less roll as I stepped onto the port end of the swimstep. It’s probably not because my diet is working…..wishful thinking…..hard to tell, maybe the lines are snugged up extra tight. But if you’re gonna be cuddled up close the last night in port…….. Shiver-Me-Timbers…..I believe OceanAire thinks of every detail. Don’t ya wish you were so lucky?

Harbor Marine Fuel (360-734-1710), sports the Shell brand and is just one dock South of OceanAire; with the gauges a whisker below half, it’s a good time to top off with diesel. 108.5 gallons at $2.97/gallon makes the subtotal $322.24; add $27.39 for tax; the grand total is $349.63

Untie from the fuel dock, past Trident Seafoods, left into Squalicum Creek Waterway. The circle that’s been Velkommen’s OceanAire adventure is soon to close. The test begins; the sea trial. Throttles forward slowly, 1300 rpm, watch the water temp creep toward 180°. More throttle, a touch of trim and we’re cruisin’ along at 2200 rpm and 14.5 knots. The tide is flooding into the bay and we’ve got a 10 knot headwind trying to push the raindrops into the vinyl windows. My old scuba-divin’ buddy Bill Mills is with me; neither one of us is as svelte as we were 35 years ago. Bill walks to either side of the flybridge; Velkommen merely raises an eyebrow and keeps on cruisin’. Just what I was hoping for, nice and stable. Wow, what a wonderful change. Now she’s performing like she’s supposed to. Solid. Stable. No surprises. Success…..Yippee!!

I’m not ready to claim radical increases in speed or fuel economy. After all, if we were lucky enough to affect a 5% change that would only amount to 3/4 knot. I’ll reserve that judgement for perfectly calm conditions with reference the logbook, rather than memory. The increased lift is quite noticable, however. She pops out onto a plane a little sooner, without any heavy-handed coaxing from the trim tabs. Backing off the throttles, she wants to stay on plane much longer as if to say, “Come on. Let’s Go. Don’t slow down.” I wondered about the chine shape at the forward quarter, where the transition is made from old to new. Usually the onrushing water kinda flairs up the side of the hull; now the water squirts out sideways, away from the hull. It’s like a kid with a $20 Super Soaker water cannon. Amazing to see and I’m anticipating a very dry ride.

Retrieving Velkommen couldn’t have been easier. At first I envisioned a complicated shuttling of people and vehicles, but Bellair Charters runs a runs a bus connecting the Anacortes ferries with Burlington and beyond. With a little notice they will pick up at Anacortes Marina and drop off at the Bellingham Guesthouse Inn, a regular stop…..all for $11.75 in less than two hours. Then it’s only an $9.90 taxi ride to OceanAire. Elasped time: under three hours, including a nice brunch at Rhodes Cafe. Easy.


There you have it, the last pic of the series. The home stretch…..idling down the fairway. Time to settle in and cool down…….and dream of new projects and new adventures and places to explore. If you find yourself in the neighborhood, stop by and say “Hello”. Just a little farther down and on the right.

And BIG Thanks to Jeff Harman and the crew at OceanAire Yachts for taking the leading role in the OceanAire Mods series beginning with OceanAire Valentine…..moving this Tollycraft/Monk design out of the past century and into the new. Pay ‘em a visit; you’ll enjoy it. 48° 45.424′ North 122° 30.442′ West

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