Thursday, January 15, 2015

December 2014 in Seattle

Finally got the Admiral to go with me to visit the best market in Seattle at Fisherman's Terminal

Condo Living is a strange animal.

Completely surprised by our Son IN law and Daughters gift!

We've been singing Stevie Wonder tunes since Jr. High, saw him once in the 80's in Austin but this was a once in a lifetime event for us.

The musical genius of Stevie goes far beyond the Ebony and Ivory

David, my goto Sailing Buddy, agreed to come sailing with me on the worst forecast in years for Puget Sound

We had about a two hour window in the morning before the worst arrived.

This screen shot was taken just after getting the boat bcak in the slip, there would not be much of a rain shadow for this event.

Big rains knocking on the door just outside the breakwater. 


Feeling like I just joined the ranks of the Real PNW sailors!

All of  the PNW turns to Christmas Magic over the Holidays.


Got the fever, GO HAWKS!!!


Andy Mckee, did not know him before this concert but Immediately recognized him as a student of Michael Hedges, one of my favorites. I mean he is from Topeka, Kansas! He is psuhing it beyond See several of his pieces on youtube, a couple of good ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNzIhPp6T_s&index=6&list=PL9mJ4te1lKxrOe-PY59X4fevJnMpIdaIw and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Exm5g6Z3f9Y
And his tribute to Michael Hedges: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uxL2KhViPY

Chihuly at Benorya Hall

Notice anything unique about Andy's instruments?

This is a successive set of screen shots taken on a night of record rain from about 5:30 - 10pm The event had tropical force winds on the coast. Areas all around Seattle received 4" to a foot of rain. Seattle got about 1/2 inch. Why? They call it the Rain shadow created by the Olympic Mountains. At the worst we just had a wind driven hard mist. It is known as living in the "Doughnut Hole"  This is why Seattle is always misunderstood by people living anywher else. Tacoma to the South and Everett to the North routinely get several more inches of rain than Seattle, there just a short drive away. 


The winds reached Tropical force strength on the coast, in fact several homes were launched into the sea from the erosion it caused. The West Point Light weather station is just about 2 miles from where we live


The Snow people got a gift of snow in December with snow as low as the 500' elevation in the Cascades. But the contiguous rains from the Pinapple Express are to warm to sustain snow at the lower levels. We feel like we are experiencing a more "normal" Seattle December winter than last year.  

The December weather brings spectacular sunsets on the days you can see the sunset. One picture never captures the sunsets,especially here. 

Brother Dave got a great two very clear days on his Visit to Seattle.  We strolled through the Sculpture Gardens on the way to Happy Hour at the E.


A great Seattle visit with Dave for a few hours between his theater work at the Seattle Repertory Theater where he was seeing a couple of shows on Lyndon B Johnson's Presidency. 


Handel for New Years. We missed probably one of the best years to vies the Space Needle Fireworks but after the concert we Danced the new Years in. 



Brother Dave took this as he enjoyed the New Year Fire works from Our Daughters Next Door home that has a perfect view for the Celebration.  Happy 2015!


December 2014 in Seattle

December was a good end to 2014, The holiday season can bring on its on set of demands but being retired we avoid all that as much as possible and just try to rake in the good parts. We started out the month with Stevie Wonder a completely unexpected surprise from our Daughters family. We probably had the best tickets of our lives since our Armadillo days, just a few rows back on the floor at Key Arena, WOW! it was a Lifetime experience for us.
The Center of Wooden Boats slows down so no teaching but I did get to go out in the Sound with David and my one opportunity to go sailing in December just happened to coincide with the worst weather forecast. There was a two hour window in the morning and so we went for it and had an exhilarating fun sail just beating the arrival of the storm as we got the boat all secured in the slip around 12:30. I joined the PNW club that day and thus the selfie with the statue Leif
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leif_Erikson that I walk by every time to and from the parking lot.
This was the biggest weather event for the winter of 2014-15,  This system came to the PNW as a "Pinapple Express http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple_Express and then Blew across the US as a Alberta Clipper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta_clipper
The finish to 2014 was very special as well. It is a very rare thing for us to see my brother unless we are in Austin and we have the opportunity to see one of his productions at Zachary Scott where we may get a few minutes to visit before and after the show. He came up to Seattle to see a production he plans to bring to Austin. We had a great Sunset walk through the Sculpture Gardens and a Happy Hour at the E. If you are in Austin April or May see http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/all-the-way
The New Years brought all kinds of positive predictions for 2015 and the mood in Seattle full of expecting a much better year ahead. The mild late December weather with lots of sunshine certainly contributed to that. The recent events in France cast an early cloud but was immediately met with Millions across the globe enlisting anew in the cause of Freedom.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Christmas at the E

Our Daughters family went to California to spend Christmas with the California side of the family, she left two nights at the "E" for us .





The Beatles Saved the E back in the 60's when the hotel was having some financial problems.  

The elevators have a big monitor that has revolving scenic backgrounds

The best happy hour is at the Edgewater's Bar "The Six Seven" (The Edgewater is built over Pier 67.



The Admiral found the Beatle's room was on the second floor, see
 http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Beatles-stay-at-Edgewater-helped-mark-its-place-1305857.php

On Christmas Morning we walked down to the ferry dock and rode the Ferry to Bremerton Across Puget Sound and through Rich Passage to Prt Orchard and the Bremerton Ferry dock.

Crusty Trawler at the Bremerton Marina

Kinda of slow on Christmas Morning at the Bremerton Marina


The Ferry docks are right downtown Bremerton adjacent to the Naval shipyards.

The USS Turner Joy (DD-951), famed Navy destroyer from the Vietnam War, is now maintained and administered by the Bremerton Historic Ships Association.
see  
http://www.ussturnerjoy.org/

The Sail of the USS Parche see:
http://www.onr.navy.mil/focus/blowballast/images/sub/opdiagram.gif

Parche has quite a history, much of it still classified
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Parche_%28SSN-683%29

The Water Feature is actually two blocks long and unfortunate for us not running on this Christmas Day

Looking out across Sinclair Inlet I thought of Buzz and Terry who flew out from Austin and helped us for two weeks sail Wand'rin Star up to Port Townsend and prepare her for the road trip back to Texas.

You can see across Sinclair Inlet to Port Orchard where we took our just bought Wand'rin Star on our first Shake down cruise from Poulsbo, Liberty Bay  http://www.portofbremerton.org/marina/port-orchard/port-orchard-marina

 
The park is this close to the Ferry dock.

And this close to the Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard

Hook'em Horns!

Another restoration project. I remember talkinng to a fella in Deer Harbor who had just pulled in to a slip about his incredibly beautifully restored 50' Wood Chris Craft motor yacht. He told me it took 3 people working on it for 3 years 6-7 days a week to get her in Back to Bristol condition. 



The Ferry is returning to tack us back to Seattle.

These barges are Salmon nurseries. 

This is what makes the Pacific Northwest the finest Sailing grounds on the Planet, Thousands of miles of sailing in relatively protected waters and endless Islands to explore. 


The Capital of the Pacific Northwest.

There has been a slowdown of dockworkers as an attempt to reach a new Labor contract so there are ships stacking up all around waiting to get in and unload. 

This is a series of shots from the same sunset taken from our waterside room at the E. Ususally I just select 1 or two but I want to show the ever moving kalidascope of colors due to the constant change in weather, fog, cloud cover, sunlight. 



Zen and the Art of Sailing

Christmas at the E

My Daughters family took off to California to enjoy Christmas with all of the California Family led by Nona and Pappa Tom. L and R graciously left behind a two night stay at the most fun water front Hotel known locally as the "E" AKA Edgewater. This fit in perfectly with our Christmas plans as we planned a day trip to Bremerton by walking on the Ferry and enjoying the trip across the Sound to the Navel town of Bremerton. We had read a bit and knew the ferry docks were right downtown and there would be plenty for our walking tour. I was hoping the Naval Shipyard would be a bit more visible but there is plenty of security and big buildings so you can't see much of all that. Going by the picture on wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puget_Sound_Naval_Shipyard_and_Intermediate_Maintenance_Facility if we had our car we could have driven to the other side of the ship yard and probably had a good view of  the ship docked there but I'm not sure.
Of course being Christmas Day nothing was open so we just did our usual self walking tour and for a few hours and timed our return to the ferry dock. There is a Naval Museum close by but again it was closed so we had to settle For the Bremerton Harborside Fountain Park and of course the nearby Marina. The Ferry Ride always promises the best view for Happy Hour.