Taking on the David B
I sometimes find it hard to believe that Jeffrey and I have owned the David B for fifteen years. The first eight years we put all of our time, money, and energy into rebuilding the boat. Our drive was to pursue the dream of offering nature based tours in the San Juan Islands, Inside Passage, and Alaska. We realized that dream in 2006, and for the last seven years we’ve enjoyed meeting people from all over the world.
This month I get to begin to tell our story to a wider audience in Pacific Nor’West Boating Magazine. The stories will be based on my book, More Faster Backwards: Rebuilding David B. My article appears on page 32.
Learn to Cruise the Inside Passage
When a friend of ours suggested we change the focus of our 12-Day Inside Passage trips between Bellingham and Ketchikan from nature and wildlife watching to instruction, we knew he had a great idea. Last year we sold out our Learn to Cruise trips and we certainly hope to do so again this year.
As part of our excitement about these trips, we are happy to announce a series of articles we’ll be writing for CruisingNW.com. In these articles we’ll be sharing information on cruising the Inside Passage. We hope this will help others plan their own trips. The link below will take you our first installment. In this article you’ll learn why we feel cruising in the Inside Passage should be on everyone’s bucket list.
We hope you’ll enjoy these articles and find them useful!
If you are interested in signing up for one of our Learn to Cruise trips you can call us at 360-201-8184 or fill out the form below:
7 Tips for Sanding Your Brightwork
This winter has been a busy one for me and my sanders. With two skylights, sixteen teak windows, two light boxes, the rub rail, cap rail, and trunk cabin, I’ve come up with some tips to help make the chore of sanding a little more pleasant. Click over to my blog at Yachting Magazine for the article.
Jeffrey’s Got Us Organized
Having an eighty-plus year-old wooden boat is a lot of work, and it is sometimes hard to decide which projects are the most important to tackle. For instance, do we re-do the pilothouse, or install a new heating system? When should we start work on the engine? Do we buy a new keel cooler or grind the valves on the engine and generator? These are all on the To-do list and not long ago, as we wrestled with these questions, Jeffrey came up with an idea for how to best organize our list and make our decisions for how to tackle our project list.
To read how Jeffrey got us organized, hop on over to the David B’s blog on Yachting Magazine for the answer.
As we work on making the David B beautiful during the winter months, we look forward to having a great summer of cruising in the San Juan Islands and Inside Passage.
Great Boater Education Organizations
Since the release of More Faster Backwards, Jeffrey and I have been invited to give talks about how we restored the M/V David B. What has impressed me about the places that we talk, is how much enthusiasm surrounds these groups for educating boaters of all kinds. Some of the groups we’ve talked to empathize seamanship skills, while others are more focused on boat building. I recently wrote a post for Yachting Magazine about our experiences giving talks to United States Power Squadrons, the Center for Wooden Boats and Northwest Maritime Center.
A Stroll on Jones Island
[pix_dropcap]W[/pix_dropcap]ashington State is lucky to have an incredible system of marine parks. Several in the San Juan Islands. One that I particularly enjoy is Jones Island, a hundred and eighty-eight acre park that has a network of trails running along it’s perimeter and across the island. One of the many things that’s attractive about Jones Island is that it is only accessible by boat.
Once ashore, I always savor the walk through the forest to the other side of the island. Occasionally I’ve spotted a pileated woodpecker flying from tree to tree. Douglas Fir, Western red cedar, hemlock and big leaf maple make up most of the forest. There are also many mosses, lichens and fungi and I sometimes get to spend a half hour or longer with my guide books as we wander the paths. The walk opens up to a grassy area where black-tailed deer graze. They are quite friendly and will often let us come close enough to get a good picture. My favorite part of the walk is where the trail begins to skirt the edge of the island. Here, I’ve learned where to find a native prickly pear cactus. Yes, it’s true wet western Washington does have native cactus growing thanks to the rain shadow from the Olympic mountains. Another interesting native plant is the Garry Oak. There aren’t too many of these left in the San Juan Islands and the ones on Jones Islands are fenced off to encourage their renewal.
River otters and harbor seals are also regular visitors to Jones Island. Those of us who live and work near the saltwater can easily forget how interesting and fun these regularly seen animals are to watch. When we spot one it’s the highlight of the day. This summer we had a private charter with three generations of women who walked Jones Island with me. We were sitting on some rocks along the trail watching two deer, when two hikers came by and told us about four river otters who were feeding just around the corner. I got up and walked ahead of the group until I noticed a small boil in the water just below a rocky outcrop. The sun made the dried grass atop the outcrop warm and welcoming. I sat down to take some photos. A couple seconds later an otter popped up with crab in it’s mouth. The three other otters soon followed. My group caught up to me, and it was heartwarming to watch the excitement about the river otters. We talked for a while about the difference between river otters and sea otters, which we don’t see in the San Juan Islands.
I kept up with the otters until they came to a low spot. Cautiously they came onto the island. They stayed close to each other, rubbing their bodies together in braid-like motion. They made warning chirps as they tested the side of the trail. With trepidation they attempted to cross, but a bird flew past them and they retreated. I stood still with my camera. Again they emerged. They wanted to get to the forest and the underbrush of thick-leaved salal. I waited for the otters to make their move. It took several more tries. There was lots of head bobbing and back-leg kicking before they made their break. They scurried across the dirt and root trail; their forepaws low, and their hips high reminded me vaguely of an inchworm. They soon disappeared into the forest. I stood up to listen to them before turning around.
Back at the boat, Jeffrey was almost finished with lunch preparations. I took out my journal and quickly noted all the things we had seen. I’ve been to Jones Island many times and what I like about it is that there are many things that seem to remain the same, but with each stroll, there’s always something new. I’m looking forward to our next walk on Jones.