[Tweeters] Waiting for the Ferry

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Fri May 9 09:35:12 PDT 2014


My best Washington State Ferry moment happened many moons ago in Port Townsend. It was back in the 70's, on a Labor Day Sunday - about the worst date one could pick to take the ferry from Port Townsend heading home to the Cascade side of the Sound.
Anyhoo, after waiting for hours in line on a hot day, and missing two boats already, at least I was on the dock but the third boat was just about to leave and I was about 10 cars back in line. That's when I heard those glorious words called out - "bring up the bug!".
You see, at the time of this scene I was starring in the role of " long - haired - VW bug - driving - forest hippy". I can't remember what I was doing over there at the time, but had come out of the woods somewhere. So the ferry guys waved me up, past the 10 pissed off owners of over-large American cars and trucks, and got me wedged in the very last space. Even with the bug, it took about a five-point turn to get in there. I ended being parked sideways to the ferry axis, with hardly a foot to spare. I emerged from my bug to a standing ovation from folks standing on the surrounding decks above. What a glorious moment.
Well sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Heading back to Port Townsend on Wednesday May 7, I just missed the boat by 3 cars. But I wasn't gonna take being a loser sitting down. I grabbed my binoculars, got out of my truck and looked around the dock.
The first thing I noted was the murk of the water - its Plankton Time! What all this gunk was, who knows. Many Puget Sound creatures exude eggs and sperm into the water and if one were to step into this sex soup , I imagine you'd get in a family way in a hurry. At least If you were a marine animal of some sort. Murk in Puget Sound often equates with richness, the floating eggs, larvae, or whatever planktonic stuff being the base of the whole food chain.
Swimming in this somewhat murky water were thousands and thousands of Salmon fingerlings, big swarms of 'em everywhere I looked. From the Edmond's hatchery maybe? Nice to see so many.
On the nearby beach a big Glaucous-winged Gull caught a pretty big Dungeness crab and dropped it, still kicking on the sand. Another bird joined in, and within a couple of minutes all that was left was the empty carapace, picked clean.
As I looked over the dock rail I inadvertently snuck up on two beautiful Rock Doves perched atop a piling. Viewed from five feet away with my close-focusing 8x binoculars, the common pigeon was a great education on the dangers of becoming jaded. In the afternoon sun, the bird was transformed into a colorist wonder. The bird's iris of bright yellow - gold rimed with brilliant flaming orange-red, contrasted magnificently with the dark purplish - grey head, and iridescent green and purple neck feathers. And then those warm pink feet. I could go on.
Jeff Gibsonon Puget Sound.




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