Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ah, The Sound of a Ringing Bell

Thursday 6 May 2010

I'm on board this afternoon after a quick house-sitting stint on Orcas Island. I have to admit sometimes life is tough but someone has to do the difficult tasks. While I was there, I went out on my favorite whale watching boat, The Orca Express. J-pod is one of the resident pods in the Puget Sound and they were beginning to come down from BC. We got to see many of them in Rosario Strait between Deception Pass and Lopez Island. Granny, the matriarch is 99 years old and her son, Ruffles or J1 is 55 years old this year. It is always a treat to see these magnificent creatures. Dan, the captain and his naturalist, Deb always go the extra mile so everyone gets a wonderful experience. As a genealogist, I love that they have photos and genealogies of J,K and L pods available for review.

The first order of the afternoon was to mount the SS Independence Bell. First, I had to remove a photo and the hat rack in the head, then drill through the bulkhead and finally through bolt everything. The bell is quite large for this small boat but makes an impressive statement and sound in this small cabin. I like it tho and enjoy our shared history of cruising the Hawaiian waters, the SF Bay area and Suisun Bay. Just out of interest I looked up her sister ship, The SS Constitution and she, too, had a terrible ending to her life. While being towed from Portland to Asia for ship wrecking, she began taking on water and sank 700 miles north of the Hawaiian Islands. What disastrous endings for such beautiful ships.