Archive for the 'boating' Category

Saturday Adventure: Sailing Liberty Bay

Today the family and I rented a sailboat and took an initial sailing lesson. We’ve always loved boating and being on the water but have long wanted to sail – and got the chance.

It was a lovely day on Liberty Bay and the sun on the water worked its stress relieving magic. I’ll definitely do this again.

Racing Sailboat
This was NOT the boat we rented, but was easily the loveliest boat on the water today – a racing sailboat of some sort.

Zach & Cheri
Zach and Cheri watch the windvane.

Zach the helmsman
Zach the helmsman steers the boat.

Zach sails
Zach watches from the sail deck.

Jeri on boat
Apparently I was the captain since I signed the rental contract. Who knew?

Posted on Sunday, July 19th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: boating, Poulsbo, Puget Sound | 2 Comments »

Day in Port Townsend

Yesterday my awesome sister and I spent the day wandering the picturesque town of Port Townsend. (This town is where Officer and a Gentleman was filmed, oh so many years ago.)

Port Townsend main street
Port Townsend main street.

Wonderful old buildings.

Even more architecture.

Port Townsend from the water
Port Townsend from the water.

Tall Ship
One of Port Townsend’s many tall ships.

I’m glad I had great company for the day; it was my first Fathers’ Day with both my father and Bryan now gone, and it would have been my 12th anniversary.

For anniversaries, we used to find and buy a piece of art we both loved. Port Townsend has wonderful art galleries and antique stores, but I didn’t see anything that screamed, “Take me home with you!” (Besides jewelry, which is coals to Newcastle.) And, I guess coming home empty handed is ok, it’s the thought that matters.

Posted on Monday, June 22nd, 2009 by Jeri
Under: boating, Puget Sound | 6 Comments »

Ashes in the Sound

Yesterday we took one last opportunity to say goodbye to Bryan – beloved husband, devoted father, cherished son and adored brother.

We spent the day on the Puget Sound and scattered Bryan’s ashes. I wanted to enjoy the day, the company of family and friends and remember him with my whole heart. We headed out of Liberty Bay toward Brownsville, where Bryan and I moor our own boat.

Bryan and the Hummingbird

We navigated the sound on a couple of adorable electric boats. We couldn’t have had a more beautiful day if we’d custom-ordered it. The sun was brilliant and the water sparkled and it was warm and slightly breezy.

Electric Boats

I had the beautiful urn that Jim made for us. I also asked a local florist for a bag of flower petals; she saved roses for me for several days and wouldn’t accept a dime. Mom brought a small box of skipping stones and encouraged us to write messages on them. I engraved a small brass heart with the words, “Bryan Merrell, 1963-2009, With our love.”

When we neared Brownsville harbor, we tied the boats up together. The captain recited parts of Psalm 107:23-43 for us:

Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters;
They have seen the works of the LORD,
And His wonders in the deep.
For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind,
Which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths;
Their soul melted away in their misery.
They reeled and staggered like a drunken man,
And were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
And He brought them out of their distresses.
He caused the storm to be still,
So that the waves of the sea were hushed.
So He guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonders to the sons of men!
When they are diminished and bowed down
Through oppression, misery and sorrow,
He sets the needy securely on high away from affliction,
And makes his families like a flock.

We scattered his ashes over the side; they swirled and eddied in the water and finally disappeared into the sparkle of the sun’s reflection.

Ashes in the water

Then everyone tossed rose petals into the water; it was slack tide with no current, so the roses drifted out into a giant halo around our boats.

Rose Petals on the Water

Mom pulled out the stones and we skipped them into the water; the moment of levity was perfect. I am horrible at skipping stones but managed to get one at the right angle. My sister Cheri was a pro.

Cheri skipping stones

We passed around the little engraved brass heart around and thought of him, then I asked his mom to release it after the ashes and roses. It drifted slowly down into the water, flashing and turning in the sun, and gradually faded from sight. Someday maybe some intrepid scuba diver will find it, covered in silt and encrusted in verdigris.

Bryan’s final resting place – besides, of course, in our hearts – is 47-40’49.0″ N, 122-36″56.3″ W, in 26.3 feet of water.

According to a friend, the ashes will find their way out the Strait and into the Pacific, where they will continue to circulate counterclockwise over a 3.5 year period, up to Alaska, over to Japan, down to the South Pacific, and back to North America. I really like that idea.

We sat there, drifting, for some time, some of us sharing memories and others sitting contemplatively.

Ben drops rose petals into the water

It was a beautiful way to say goodbye. We will always love him and will miss him tremendously.

Posted on Sunday, May 24th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: boating, grief, Puget Sound | 15 Comments »

Our Town

Last time we took the boat out, Zach was trying out his brand new camera and he took a couple of decent pictures of our marina and town from the water.

Poulsbo from the water. It’s a ridiculously cute little Norwegian-themed, tourist-friendly harbor town.

Mt Rainier
Mt Rainier, viewed across Liberty Harbor and through the Poulsbo Yacht Club marina.

Thanks to Sadiq, Nathan and Jim, who have been doing a great job of photographing their areas for visitors to their blog.

Posted on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 by Jeri
Under: boating, Poulsbo | 6 Comments »

No Mooring

When we tool around the Puget Sound by boat, we see a lot of cool things that look different from the water. The area we live and moor our boat in is home to:

  • the Bremerton naval shipyards, where active aircraft carriers come to be refitted and old ones are torn down
  • the Bangor sub base
  • Keyport naval undersea warfare center, where Raytheon and other contractors work on naval weapons systems

Today, like we have many times before, we went past the last facility. On one end of the base, there is a somewhat dilapidated building on the water:

Keyport NUWC

It has a boldly posted across the breadth of the building that says “When light flashes, reduce speed to 3 knots.” The sign on the door, blown up and grainy because we were some distance away, reads:

Keyport Door

“Naval Undersea Warfare Center.” And, helpfully, “No Mooring.” Because, you know, if the light is flashing because they’re testing torpedoes, I think I’d zip right up and TIE UP alongside! That would be FUN!

Today, there was a light flashing. I don’t think it was the actual warning light, it was just a little light, but we took no chances. We slowed down to 3 knots, no wake, until we got past the facility.

Obviously, we made the right choice. We made it home with our boat in one piece.

Posted on Monday, June 16th, 2008 by Jeri
Under: boating, Poulsbo | 1 Comment »