Saturday, May 26, 2012

Go Boat, Go!

I love everything about boats. I love the look of them, sun bleached and wind whipped. I love the smell of them, the old ropes and gas fumes. I love the way they bob and toss in the water, I love the purr of their engines, the splash of an oar or paddle, or the snap of a sail filling with wind. 

Sadly, I do not own a boat. Maybe someday, but not today.

So when I am in need of a boat fix, I go looking for some to admire. Today I wandered to Seattle's Fisherman's Terminal. It's a boat-lover's heaven, with fishing vessels from barely sea-worthy to monstrously huge, with a handful of pleasure vessels thrown in for good measure. When I arrived, I went straight to the waterfront and took in this glorious sight.

Don't let the itty bitty sizes fool you - a ship with one of those bristling contraptions overhead is an ocean-going working vessel, even if it looks tiny enough to be a bathtub toy.
These are the big boys. 

Before I wandered out to get a closer look at the ships, I spent some time at the Fisherman's Memorial. Between the terminal building and the base of the docks, I found a tall statue of a man wrangling a fish. The base of the monument was a circular bronze bas relief of fishies and other sea life. Along the nearby pavement, I found tiles inscribed with the names of local men and women who have been lost at sea.

Water side view of the terminal building.
This bronze fisherman seems to be wrestling a giant bronze fish. Looks like quite a battle.
This octopus and tiny squid are my favorite creatures on the base of the monument.
Stephen A. Brooks is a family friend who was lost with his entire crew on the Pacific Alliance.  Rest in peace, Steve.
Captain Phil Harris was the colorful captain of the Cornelia Marie, of Deadliest Catch fame.  My husband saw him once at our local Home Depot. I think that means we were friends.

Just to the side of the terminal building were giant heaps of nets and floats of all shapes and colors. In the hot sun, several groups of men were sorting through the nets, spreading them out, and presumably, repairing them. It looked like hot and sweaty work, not at all fun. I thought about buying them each a frosty Coke, but instead I just took pictures of their heaped piles. I felt especially cruel. 

Ok, time to get to those boats! As I wandered up and down the docks, taking pictures here and there, drinking in all the nautical vibe, I was fascinated at the variety within the fleet. The range of shapes, sizes, colors, ages, etc. was staggering and I felt like I was at a great big boat party. 

Big ships...
and little ships.
Yellow ships...
and black ships,
red ships...
and blue ships.
Wooden ships...
and steel ships.
Ships with buoys...
and dinghies... 
and round cabin door windows.
High ships...
and low ships.
Mirror-image ships...
and ships that reflect light with an eerie beauty.

 If you've ever read Go Dog, Go (and I certainly hope you have!), I felt just like I was at that big dog party in the tree, except with boats instead of dogs. 

What a boat party!


  1. "Hello again. And now do you like my boat?"
    "I do. What a boat! I like it! I like your party boat!"

    1. "Goodbye again!" "Goodbye!" And they drive off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

  2. “It looked like hot and sweaty work...” When repairing a boat, yes it is. I'm just thankful that I had my dad and brothers to help me when my boat got damaged. Also, a good shop to buy all the parts I needed. Anyway, I love the great big boat party. I'll try it sometime. _Delena @


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