Thursday, December 13, 2012

“Boating” in the Pacific Northwest

The boating season near Seattle where we live is short: pretty much June through September. We put our boat on the buoy in front of our house in May, but rarely does the weather cooperate in letting us get out much that early. But we enjoy watching boats go by all year.


Now we’re missing being on Next To Me, so we keep an eye out for boating or boating-related activities, even though it’s winter, and here’s what we’ve found so far:


Since 1949 the Argosy Christmas Ship has been a feature of holiday fun on the water in the Seattle area. Argosy is a commercial enterprise, and they run a dinner/music/Santa lighted boat parade almost every night for three to four weeks leading up to Christmas.


They travel to a different waterfront town every night, and the choir on board sings Christmas carols over a loudspeaker for the crowds on the community beach or dock to enjoy.


We’ve attended one of these beach or dock events for the last 4-5 years, and last week after first having dinner at Tides Tavern downtown, we went again, with Bob’s sister Lynn, her husband David (who spent a week with us on the Loop in October in Chattanooga and points south) as well as long-time friends Jim and Phebe (who will join us for a week in the Florida Keys in early March). The six of us sang along with the crowd on the dock in downtown Gig Harbor and enjoyed the lighted boat parade.


While we’ve lived in or near Seattle practically forever, and have plenty of long-time friends with whom we enjoy many common interests, none of them are boating cruisers. We’ve come to enjoy cruising with friends on the Loop, and it occurs to us we’d like to have friends with whom we could enjoy cruising in Desolation Sound or a trip up the Inside Passage to Alaska in the future.


With that in mind, we went as guests to a meeting of the Gig Harbor Yacht Club last night to see if it might provide a suitable venue for meeting like-minded boaters. Sandy and Tom, already members of the GHYC, sponsored our attendance, introduced us to some folks, and invited us to sit with them for dinner.


They made us feel really comfortable. There were 150 people in attendance, and the crowd was lively, friendly and humorous. We enjoyed learning about the kinds of activities offered by the Club and meeting so many members. It struck us as a great group!  Of course we’re about to leave to finish our Loop for three more months, so joining would be something we attend to after we return home in April.


Last week we put up outdoor holiday lights around the house, and yesterday we put up our Christmas tree. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and all that stuff.  Short of a few more stocking stuffers to buy for the kids, we think we’re ready.

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