Monday, May 29, 2006

the 'sound, boats...

...and Whidbey Island.

"J" and I wandered up north of Seattle a month or so ago to look at a couple of "pleasure craft" that were being sold on Whidbey Island.

We took the ferry across from Mukilteo to Clinton on a pretty crappy, wet and blustery day.

We parked our car behind these two on the second deck of the ferry and went up to the third deck to enjoy some coffee during our little trip across the sound. This little storm blew in from nowhere shortly before we got to Mukilteo and stuck around for the rest of the day and well into the evening.

You see, I grew up here in Olympia and spent one heckuva lot of time on the waters of Puget Sound. Primarily, the southern end of Puget Sound.

I remember Dad taking me out in a little 10 or 12 foot Elgin rowboat powered by a Scott Atwater 7.5 horse power out board tiller motor.

There were some wild times on the sound with Dad and his boats...

When he bought a bigger boat, an 18 foot Thompson we would go out farther and stay out longer. It was a heavy, deep "V" bay boat that was perfect for Puget Sound. It would knife through those "sound" waves that would come up out of nowhere... when the squalls would blow over. It rode the water like no other boat would.

We felt totally safe in it... totally.

I remember mornings when I would be out in the 'sound in totally fogged out conditions... fishing for the elusive salmon. I'd hear a "whoosh" and then another "whoosh" sounding from the fog immediately next to the boat then I'd see the dorsal fins... Orcas in the sound. Every now and then I'd be at the right place at the right time to catch the native pod of Orcas passing through, feasting on salmon and seals.

That was when I used to think that life was almost perfect! Almost...

I, like my four older brothers, was out on the water every day I could get away and get out there.

I was a scuba diver. I don't dive anymore but did for years... sold my gear over a decade and a half ago and haven't dove since. But I've seen portions of the sound from the bottom up.

I have a huge respect and love for Puget Sound. I spent the day before I left for the Army in June of 1972 on the sound... fishing... from the old man's boat. By myself fishing.

I've only been back on the sound once or twice since. Dad sold the Thompson, bought another boat... a Starcraft and eventually sold that. He was done with the sound for awhile...

We always talked about it... always reminisced. We always wondered what the fishing was like "today". Hot days would crop up and we'd tell each other... "We should be fishing."

Dad in his 80's and me in my 50's... we're being drawn back to it... to Puget Sound. It's difficult to explain but we're being pulled back.

I want my son and daughter and their families to be able to enjoy a piece of that place... "the sound" much like I did so long ago.

I never thought I'd buy a boat... a boat for the sound at least. I never really thought I'd be back "out there"... even though I wanted to be.

I just didn't see a "need" for a "pleasure craft"... a boat. It goes back to that "need/want" thing I alluded to in my post regarding Steve's tag. I just didn't see the need for a boat but always wanted one.

But "J" and I went out looking anyway. Not real hard but looking at used boats (there's tons of them around here). Just about the time I had myself convinced that I no longer wanted one I saw an advertisement on Craig's List (Seattle) that caught my eye... an early morning ad. So I called and inquired about it and, after making arrangements to view the boat, motor and trailer, bought a boat... a 19 foot Bayliner Capri with a cuddy cabin and a 125 hp Force outboard motor on it. It was in great shape and the price was very good.

I thought getting "J" out in it would be a chore!

Not a chore at all... she's having as much fun with it as I am.

So, the old man and I... we're back out on the 'sound just putting along like the old days, having fun... drinking coffee on those foggy, chilly early morning floats.

Today we're going to take it to a lake in the county that's known for some lunker trout. I'll keep you posted!

Take care and enjoy your memorial day... we will.

10 comments:

DG said...

I remeber going out on the sound with my Grandfather. Seemed like all we ever caught were dogfish. I wonder where that old plywood beast is today.

Steve said...

It is great to see pictures of your family, D.H.! I have only taken the ferry over the sound once; on my first visit to Seattle. We had a great time that visit...probably a time that I will never forget.

Sunshine said...

Sounds idyllic.. looks idyllic.

Lovely photos..

Hi "J"!

Does Rookie go along for the ride too?

We are, at last, having a fairly decent spell of warm weather, just right for being out on the water..

The nearest I think we will get, is a trip across Cardiff Bay in a pleasure cruiser on evening when we are "allowed out" without children...

Steve said...

Hope you had a wonderful Father's Day!

Sunshine said...

Hope all is well DH....

I have moved btw..

www.sunshine.wordyblog.com

Sunshine said...

Have a happy 4th of July Holiday...

Wish we had a holiday this weekend - the weather is fab!

Cathy said...

I thought you were going to keep us posted? I miss your writing!

Sue said...

Hope all is well with you DH..long time, no post..life just getting in the way huh?

D. H. said...

Hi Sue, Cathy...

Yah. I've been away for awhile... life does get in the way from time to time, doesn't it.

Thanks for caring.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean "drawn back to the sound" I miss it also but there are NO fish left.....