Ship's Log
Friday, July 7, 2000
Roche Harbor to Orcas Island

The First Rendezvous
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    As I left Roche Harbor, I saw my first bald eagle of this trip on Spieden Island. 20000709_07.jpg (39448 bytes)

It is said that when a bald eagle circles you, you are having clear spiritual communication (either that or you are sitting next to a salmon). It wasn't exactly circling, but I enjoyed watching it soar just the same.

In the resort of Roche Harbor, I came in contact with several interesting folks. It is a marina for the wealthy, needless to say my little Macho Burrito was a bit out of place. While ashore, I ventured to the hotel lobby and I asked if I could check my email. I could not figure out the calling card thing with a computer. I felt like I was close several times. I have a hard time giving up when I know the answer is just a few clicks away.

As I spent several hours in that lobby trying to figure out how to dial 9 wait for a dial tone then dial up my ISP using a calling card. Several super rich older folks came in and out. Some were demanding and some were nice. Karine, the front desk host, was equally friendly to every one. I consider myself a service oriented person, because I really try to meet client’s needs and have a strong work ethic. But now I see what true service is. This woman is these people’s servant. And she is only working the front desk! No wonder why the dock-workers have an attitude.

I overheard one gentleman joking with the hotel manager. He was in his sixties and walked in as if he owned the place, because he probably could if he wanted to. He inquired about renting a float plane to take him and his wife around the San Juans for the day. The manager quickly got on the phone and hired a plane out of Seattle to be there in an hour. The gentleman asked if he had ever done that . The manager said, "No I couldn’t afford it." He replied, "Ahh but your young. I’d trade you my age right now if I could. You can have my bank account, cars, houses and my wife. Youth is a treasure that we have to spend before we know how. It is life’s great irony."

Then a 10 year-old walked in licking an ice cream cone the size of his head. I asked, "what flavor?" he looked at his dad to make sure it was alright, then answered, "Vanilla." Now I know we live in the age of computers. Hell I am sitting in a quiet anchorage in a bay somewhere near a town called Olga typing on one now. And I know kids have been using them since they could walk and have a profound understanding that I couldn’t. It is like how my generation can program the VCR but our parents still fight with the remote.. so I took a chance and asked if he know anything about computers. He said, "Sure." So I explained, "I can’t figure out how to use this hotel lobby phone line to get online. Because you have to dial 9 and use a phone card." He looked at his dad and smiled, "Do you know about the comma thing?"

Apparently if you add a comma to the phone number your computer is dialing, it adds a pause. Two commas, add twice the length of the pause. That was it the "one click" I had been searching for all morning. And that one bit (or byte) of information was wandering in that kid’s head.

I think with kids having all that power of knowledge, we may have the ability to use their knowledge in society and help them feel empowered. That is why we rebel in our teens, to empower ourselves. If we were actually helping mom and dad with the banking or internet home shopping or had some important role in the running of the family, then we would have power and would want to contribute to the family as a teen, and the to the community as an adult.

20000709_03.jpg (61172 bytes)I casted off the lines at noon after carefully planning my route. I had a hard time negotiating the many islands between the Orcas Island ferry landing and Roche Harbor. The San Juans are a great testing ground for me to get my wits before heading to places I’ve never been. At least there are some familiar landmarks that I can confirm on the chart. I have to learn to not second guess myself. When I am trying to find a place in a car I always turn around just before the correct turn off because I think I’ve gone too far. So when I take a baring and place my location on the chart, I immediately question it, discount it, and have to begin again.

Alas, I made it to the ferry terminal at 6:30 to meet Debbie as she got off the 6:30 ferry. I k now…it’s only been a few days. But it is Friday and she is only a short drive and ferry ride a away. I am easing into the solitude thing.

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I missed her terribly, I was so worried about her being alone all summer. But from the sounds of it she is doing well on her own. A little too well. Every weekend is planned with some sort of festival with friends or conference for work. I hope she takes me back. I have a feeling she will.

20000709_04.jpg (45000 bytes)We set sail in time for the wind to die then motored to Olga and dropped the hook. She made dinner, the first real meal I’ve had since leaving home. I am spending most of my time working on the boat or navigating myself through scary channels. I have heard the importance of having a good cook on board for long passages, and now I know why. You have to be strong and clear headed to do this thing effectively. I will get into a routine of cooking in the morning before I get underway. For now, it is good to have company, especially someone who comforts me when I need it. 

Tomorrow we sail to Doe Bay...

It's a small world after all. It's a small small world.

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