Reflections

Through all my years of living in Manhattan, it always amazed me how the seasons were dictated by holiday weekends. Memorial Day marked the beginning of summer, and once Labor Day rolled around, the shorts and sandals were put away regardless of weather, lest you be mistaken for a tourist. It was back to “serious casual” clothing in the Financial District. No more weekend trips to the Hamptons. No more LIRR to Jones Beach for a concert. Nope. Even though September offers some of the best weather New York has to offer, come the Tuesday after Labor Day, summer was officially in the can for another year.

img_6400

img_6597

img_6607

img_6627

img_6629

It seems the seasons in Port Townsend are marked by the Wooden Boat Festival. Summer hung around throughout the festival, with everyone in shorts and tee shirts. But ironically, I notice the first twinge of yellow and red in the trees overhead on the last day of the festival. There is a briskness to the air and a businesslike attitude from the shopkeepers. Instead of cheers coming from the regatta as the small boats round the mark in the Sound, they are coming from the opposite side of town now, the nearby High School football stadium where the “mighty Redhawks” muscle through the misting rain.

This wooden boat frame is covered in a "skin."

This wooden boat frame is covered in a “skin.”

The Virginia V, launched 1922, the only remaining steam powered member of the "Mosquito Fleet," named as such because there were so many vessels plying Puget Sound before roads were constructed that they were known to be "swarming like mosquito."

The Virginia V, launched 1922, the only remaining steam powered member of the “Mosquito Fleet,” named as such because there were so many vessels plying Puget Sound before roads were constructed that they were known to be “swarming like mosquitoes.”

img_6666

img_6668

img_6670

Fall is always the best time of year for sailing. Mornings are still and quiet while the sea breeze begins building in the early afternoon, making for perfect steady winds. Early mornings have been my absolute favorite part of the Wooden Boat Festival too, as I wake up at first light, grab my camera and go. The skies have been filled with tufts of cotton candy pink clouds, and the water in the marina is glassy. Nothing can be heard but the gulls and a few faint footsteps of fellow photography enthusiasts tiptoeing down the docks.

This boat reminds me of my friend Nancy, sailor extraordinaire and fellow lover of Puccini.

This boat reminds me of my friend Nancy, sailor extraordinaire and fellow lover of Puccini.

img_6674

img_6672

img_6745

I wake up Monday morning after the three day, non-stop extravaganza feeling like I am the last to leave the party. Vendors are busy breaking down their tents around me. Boat trailers are in line to hitch up. Kayaks are secured on racks, two by two. Their 4-night package deal now over, a steady stream of RVers are exiting the Point Hudson Marina. Even the “Wee Nip Saloon” is rolling out of town on wheels back to her storage facility to await the next festival.

img_6679

img_6685

img_6688

img_6692

Seeing the activity wind down and knowing the one thing I have been looking forward to all summer has now officially passed taking summer with it leaves me with a lump in my throat. I feel that queasy sensation that I always get when it’s time to leave some place I love. But I’m not leaving. Or am I? I vacillate between telling myself “It’s okay, you don’t have to leave” to “It’s okay, you can leave if you want to. You’ll only lose one night payment.” I feel the weight of indecision sitting on my chest.

Goodbye to the little Wee Nip Saloon. I hope our paths meet again one day.

Goodbye to the little Wee Nip Saloon. I hope our paths meet again one day.

Even the Lady Washington has been hauled out for the season.

Even the Lady Washington has been hauled out for the season.

img_7054

img_7008

But I tell myself it’s okay. I am just feeling the effects of the energy shift as boats, RVs, vendor tents, and happy people flow out of the marina creating a vortex leaving the marina like a giant a drain plug. I am just feeling the magnetic pull of being sucked into their wake. I wander around the marina singing Jackson Browne’s “Oh won’t you staaaayyy…just a little bit longer?” But even though it feels like everyone else is leaving, I came with the intention to stay longer, which is exactly what I plan to do…

My spot for the next 10 days in the Point Hudson Marina.

My spot for the next 10 days in the Point Hudson Marina.

img_7042

img_7051

img_7053

Meanwhile, here are a few of my favorite “lines” from Jackson Browne’s “The Load Out/Stay”…

Now the seats they’re all empty
Let the roadies take the stage
Pack it up and tear it down
They’re the first to come and last to leave
Working for that minimum wage
They’ll set it up in another town

img_6774

img_6785

img_6850

Tonight the people were so fine
They waited there in line
And when they got up on their feet they made the show
And that was sweet…
But I can hear the sound
Of slamming doors and folding chairs
And that’s a sound they’ll never know

img_6775

img_6570

img_6516a
People stay just a little bit longer
We want to play, just a little bit longer
Now the promoter don’t mind
And the union don’t mind
If we take a little time
And we leave it all behind and sing
One more song…

img_6503

img_6787

img_6635

Oh, won’t you stay…

24 thoughts on “Reflections

    • Hi, Marti — I am behind on the blog as always. I got kicked out before the film festival due to “no room at the Inn.” It sounds like a blast, and I hope to return to see it one day. Lots of fun activities going on there in the fall!

  1. There are people who take pictures, and there are people who live to take pictures. I think I know which category you fall into. I’m glad I’m not the only who feels that a camera (even if only a decent one on a mobile phone) is what one grabs and keeps close by at all times.

    It’s like those songs in one’s head – the pictures and the music hold it all together.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

  2. I was thinking while going thru your post what wonderful boat photos. Then you had the photos of the Virginia V, which you may or may not know has been converted to a “party” boat for hire and usually is in Lake Union in Seattle. Well in August of 1994 I was married on that boat…………what fond memories. We created quite the stir when the get away ride was a sea plane that came up to the back of the boat and flew us off to Friday Harbor but not before the pilot did a circle around the space needle. We had gotten engaged two months earlier on the summit of Mount Hood!
    Your photos are spectacular!!!! and………….yes leaving a place can be sad but coming to a place can also be wonderful…………I am sure you will go someplace wonderful next and I look forward to seeing more awesome photos.

    • Ami, I just adored this story! What a wedding that must have been! I just love the thought of a sea plane as a getaway vehicle! WOW! How romantic! Thanks for sharing such a great memory with me and the other followers.

      • Skye’s transom – with name – is visible in the fifth photo from the top. Thought you took that during the WBF.

        • Hi, Tom — You are correct in that the photo was taken during the festival, on 10th Sept. I had looked at an old blog post that said the boat didn’t make it to the festival “this year,” but now realize that post was dated 2015. Sorry I didn’t make it on board…spent too much time in the seminars and not enough time on actual boats!

  3. Now you’ve got me singing that song in my head. Really love the black and whites with the lyrics at the end but the entire post is full of lovely shots with beautiful reflections and skies. There is something to be said as well for having the whole place to yourself. Your site looks great. Glad you enjoyed the Cooperstown posts. Thanks for the comment. Wonderful to see you there.

  4. The reflection shots are great, but I really like the ropes and knots. Would love to learn how to tie a decent knot. Maybe we need to go to that festival next year!

  5. I adored this post and your photos! You so eloquently described my thoughts as our time in Port Townsend wound to an end. Love this city. I remember well grabbing my camera at first light, walking down to the coffee shop, watching the town come to life.

  6. Hi, Suzanne –
    Beautiful photos. Just beautiful. Boats, reflections, knots in black and white.
    Thank you.
    Pamelab in Powhatan, VA for now

  7. As an ardent follower of your blog, Suzanne, I wait until the time is perfect (uninterrupted solitude) to click on the link of each latest installment with delicious anticipation. I view every post you offer as a mini chapter from a beautiful coffee table book, large and full, with satin slick pages, cool and smooth to the touch. This chapter, “Reflections”, is my favorite so far. From the heartfelt musings of your time in Manhatten (seasons of past life) to the gorgeously rich photos from your time in Port Townsend, this chapter unfolded itself as a present destined to be a treasure. I “felt” each photo (my fav being the next to the last of the coloreds, with the mirror of the boat in the water on the window pane). Just when I thought it could get no better: Jackson Browne melds into sepia warmth! Lord, have mercy! Be still my beating heart! This one is as close to perfection as any colorful chapter in the best of them…those beautifully presented collections of lives well lived. Tres magnifique! :-)

    • Rhonda, I feel the same way about your comments! Someday I want to put them all in a little binder and read them to cheer me up when I am feeling blue. You write the nicest things! Like buttah! I look forward to them in my inbox. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *