Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog and Faceless Readers

The Adventures of Shatoosh and Pashmina

After cruising over 6,800nm on 70 navigable waterways in the California Delta, the Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers, Shatoosh, an Albin 25 HN 1124, and Pashmina, an adorable Zodiac, head north along the Pacific coastal waters of Washington and gain entrance to the great Salish Sea...the Adventures continue and Pashmina is replaced with Pashmina 2, an 8 foot Porta Bote.
I always kept a type written log of the Adventures of Shatoosh and Pashmina and inserted photos, just like I do now with the blog. I would give my crew a copy so they could have their own log and I kept a copy on board so others could read it. In July 2008 my niece showed me how to create a blog and in minutes I had it up and running. The blog and having a Verizon Broadband Netbook really changed my life on the water. I could blog anywhere I had a cell signal. This summer while on land at LaPush the signal was poor, but just offshore it was good. I didn't put a counter on the blog until Sept of 2010 and while we have not gone viral by any means, there are lots of people from around the world reading the blog, enjoying it, learning from it, motivated and inspired by it. I never would have thought my simple little blog would impact so many and be read world wide. Based on present hits, I compute about 51,000 hits since the beginning of the blog.

This summer I met so many readers while cruising in Washington state and people introduced themselves as blog readers when they saw Shatoosh tied to their local dock. I even went out of my way to meet a faceless blog reader on Lummi Island, which turned out to be a wonderful side trip.Very few people cruise to Lummi as there are no marinas, but I discovered a jewel of an anchorage in Inati Bay, which I learned the Bellingham boaters have kept a tight lip on this anchorage. It is spectacular. It has been wonderful to meet and hear from so many readers, while few people make comments in the comment section, they do email me on occasion.

To date there are over 60 countries reading or checking out the blog and while most are in the USA, I am amazed and often wonder who would be reading the blog in Bangledesh, Pakistan, Slovenia, Estonia or Nepal. Whoever you are, where ever you live, please know I am forever grateful that you are interested in my simple life on board a simple boat traveling on some, not so simple, waterways.

I send you all blessings for a good life and thank you for all your support.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011 Cruising Season

The Pacific north west continues to be plummeted with gale winds and flooding rain storms. My cruises have come to an end for this year and what a year it has been. 2011 has been   my most traveled year (1244 nm), since buying Shatoosh in 1999 which culminated in bringing Shatoosh and Pashmina to the Salish Sea, near my home in Puyallup,WA.

After 8 years of exploration on the Columbia, Willamette and Snake Rivers, I headed down river for my final run in May 2011. In June, Joyce, my able-bodied first mate from Arizona, and I crossed the Columbia River Bar and harbor hopped our way up the coast bringing Shatoosh and Pashmina to the Puget Sound for a
run of 470nm. With 2 months of local cruising under our keel,  I headed north in August-September for a 5 week cruise to the San Juan Islands and returning to our new home port at Zittel’s Marina in the south sound for a  run of 431nm.

It has taken me 11 years to leisurely accomplish my goal of cruising the navigable rivers on the west coast of the United States.While I know of a couple rivers I missed, I am proud to have cruised 70 of them and only bumped  Shatoosh’s bottom 4 times and ran hard aground once on the Napa river. My ole Delta buddy, Conrad departed this world this year. He planted  the seed in my spirit to move Shatoosh to the Columbia River and tutored me in the exploration  of the Columbia, Snake and Willamette River Systems. I think of him often as I look around  Shatoosh and see his footprint everywhere on my boat and in my life. He fiberglassed my hardtop, designed and installed my folding bench seat, hand-carved a small replica of Shatoosh, which sits atop my depth sounder. He knew about my big 2011 plan to cruise up the Washington coast and whole hearted gave me his stamp of approval. I am so grateful for knowing him.

I have had soooo much support from friends, family, marina owners, boat truckers, blog readers from around the world, Albin owners, Chamber of Commerce people and all my crew. I have thanked them along the way or gave them special mention in my blog. It has been a fantastic year and I look forward to more Adventures of Shatoosh and Pashmina, as we explore more of the Salish Sea in 2012. Thank you all for everything you do to support me, so I can continue to turn my dream. into reality.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tweaking Pashmina 2's Impresa

I continue to play around with my impresa for Pashmina 2, to fine tune the elements. I sit quietly with a new, clean sheet of paper, close my eyes and open myself  for universal assistance. There needs to be clearer lines and something is missing.

It doesn't take long to capture the missing piece to the design. and to fine tune the images. While I have scanned the image, the colors are not accurate. This can all be fixed in the professional design process when the graphic is made.

Again, the elements are:

1. The waxing crescent moon brings light onto new adventures for us.
2. The orb(circle) holds the focal point of the energy of our journey as we travel through zillions of water droplets in the magical Salish Sea. We are all part of this Circle of Life.
3. Pashmina 2 offers new freedom for me to explore and the eagle represents this.
4. I needed a boat that is tough as nails and won't destruct on rough beaches...and the eagles talons are strong as nails.
5. The rings represent the great cedars and firs that we will encounter.
6. The salmon make their way from the small creeks and rivers to the ocean and return again to create new life. Pashmina 2 will carry me back and forth from sea to rivers and I will always emerge renewed, refreshed, and ready for another adventure.
7. The beautiful sand dollars that grace my favorite Island in the Sound, represent the delicate aquatic forms of life that fascinate us and create an unbelievable underwater ecosystem.

I sit back, knowing the impresa is complete. This design truly supports our exploration of the Salish Sea and know Pashmina 2 will be happy to have this grace her hull.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What Are Orbs?

orbs, during rain, Brazil.
Taken by Hira

After posting numerous photos of orbs over my blogging years, someone has finally asked ”What are orbs”?  Thank you, Carol Warren on Slow Motion in Florida, for asking. This is a highly controversial issue and has come under more scrutiny since digital photography immerged. Most pro-orb believers think orbs are a form of consciousness gathering in areas and are captured digitally/film. The con people, of course, don’t believe anything of the sort, and say they are rain drops, dust particles, or artifacts.

Large groupings of orbs swirling in areas, are referred to “plasma” and can be found in highly energized areas, such as vortex areas, holy or sacred  places, cemeteries or in highly isolated areas. I have seen orbs/plasma  in my photos(digital and film), in day light/darkness, with or without a flash, clean or dirty lens, digital camera or 35mm Point and Shoot camera for decades. To complicate the picture, many people have seen orbs with their naked eye, and state they can communicate with them.

My g-g grandfather's grave
in central Texas on 35mm film

One single orb on galley towel
Columbia River daylight without flash

Behind Cottonwood Island, Columbia River at sunset
 without flash. Note movement of plasma on left side.

Just as I am writing this and want to tell Carol, who asked the question, she makes a comment on the blog. I am about to type: Carol, since she is such a wonderful photographer that if she went back to old photos I'm sure she would see orbs. Carol, and to answer your question, "no, you don't have to believe, to see them on  photos." 15 years ago when I took the photo of my gg grandfather's grave and saw the beam of light either going in or coming out of the grave, I remember saying," gosh, what is this?" It changed my life, by adding another dimension to it.

Take a look at this site for more information or Google for others.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sticks and Stones

 1-3 November 2011
Jean joins me again and while I am taking her to McMicken Island, I am hoping I can pull myself away long enough to circumnavigate Harstene Island.  Morning fog breaks for us as we set off  to see my favorite island in the sound. The next day we pick up a buoy in Jarrel's Cove on the west end and for both nights and days we have the whole places to our selves. There is something to be said about fall and winter cruising; it is quiet, serene, breath taking and solitude seeps deep within our skin.

Jean picks up the buoy at McMicken
Space Between The Reflection and The Image

Stairs to Where?

Barnacles High and Dry

Clean Docking Lines

Mosaic of Stones

Big Leaf Maple

A Curve of Time

Serene Anchorage

My Lips are Sealed.

Deer Tracks

X Marks The Spot

Y Knot

Shatoosh,  Jarrel's Cove, Harstene Island

Jean and P2- Getting to Know One Another

Jean, a happy boater.

Salmon-Feta-Spinach Pin Wheels

Orbs, Jarrel's Cove

More Orbs


Morning, Jarrel's Cove

Sqauxin Island

Day 1-to McMicken

Day 2 to Jarrel's Cove

Day 3 Return to Zittel's Marina

Purple Jelly Fish Swimming Past Pashmina 2

Total Run: 26 nm