Sunday, September 30, 2012

Road Trip Part Three: ON THE BOAT DAVID B

Both of us love the water, so a few months ago DH and I began searching online for a way to spend some time exploring by boat.  We both agreed time on a giant cruise ship was out.  The crowds, noise, revelry and distance from nature just didn’t appeal to either of us.

So our interest was captured by a web site for Northwest Navigation and their boat, the David B.  She is a sixty-five foot wooden motor vessel owned and operated by Jeffrey and Christine Smith.

The Smiths spent eight years restoring the ship and its Washington Iron Works engine.
 They relaunched it as a tour boat in 2006.

Jeffrey is a skilled captain and Christine is an enthusiastic naturalist and accomplished chef.  It didn’t take much convincing for us to sign up for a five day tour of the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound in the northwest corner of Washington State.

In fact I was almost jumping up and down when we found the David B  at the marina in Bellingham Bay.

The weather was perfect the morning we boarded along with three other passengers.  Christine made sure we were settled into our comfortable rooms and then went to work in the galley.

Christine in the galley with Juliette, passenger and assistant chef.
Jeffrey is at the wheel in the pilothouse.
 Christine has a handsome wood stove in her galley
 where she creates scrumptious food with fresh bread for every meal.

DH and I savored the sunlight sparkling off the water as the David B’s three cylinder engine kept up a soothing chug which sounded to me like a cross between a Harley motorcycle and a fetal heart monitor.

The Sound was filled with plenty of other small craft plus the inter-island ferries that carry passengers to ports in the San Juan Islands.

Every day we stopped to explore something on some island.  This is Jeffrey bringing Jeff and Chris and Christine (yes the similar names were a bit confusing) to the beach where we would go on a hike around Sucia Island.

 Christine pointed out different trees, birds and plants and showed us creatures in the tide pools.

She led us on explorations of forest trails…

…and pointed out fossils

…in the mudstone of Fossil Bay.

We were never far from land and  we could almost always see 10, 700 ft. Mount Baker, a thermally active peak, second only to Mount St. Helens, in the Cascade Range.

Each evening Jeffrey found a quiet cove to drop anchor and each morning
was a relaxing experience of stillness spiced with aromas of breakfast
from Christine's stove.

More about our voyage next post

Christine's book about the restoration 
of the David B

Road Trip part 1-Smoke on the Water Fire in the Sky
Road Trip Part 2-Smelled the Mountain Air Man
Road Trip Part 3-On the Ship David B
Road Trip Part 4-Pods of Orcas
Road Trip Part 5-The Problem is All Inside Your Head
Road Trip Part 6-Looking Down On Fishermen
Road Trip Part 7-The Cure for Anything Is Water
Road Trip Part 8-Lighthouses
Road Trip Part 9-Slow Down and Read the Signs
Road Trip Part 10-Fresh Crabs
Road Trip Part 11-Food
Road Trip Part 12-Giants
Road Trip Part 13-Crossing the Deadly Desert


Alica said...

Oh wow, Leenie, this sounds fabulous, and the pictures are just beautiful! This sounds like something we would enjoy some day.

Brian King said...

That is what I call a fantastic cruise! I would love that! Much more personal and relaxing than a giant cruise ship. Your photos are beautiful! I love the shot of Mount Baker across the water!

Val said...

I hope to see a shot of your room (or cabin, or whatever a sleeping space is officially called aboard ship).

Leenie said...

Val, the cabins were comfortable and cozy:

My problem was getting the side of the bed next to the wall and neither of us can go through the night without a trip to the head. Although each room has its own private facilities.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful adventure....

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh this sounds like a dream come true for you. I really think this would be fun and that comes from a girl a little nervous in boats but this looks like a comfortable place to feel sun and secure. I know I would have loved exploring the islands. Lucky girl. Awesome pics.
I have seen mount Baker at least:)hug B

CarrieBoo said...

You have been living the life lately! Never fancied those boat cruises, but this one is hugely appealing! Look at that kitchen! Mountains and fossils... Wowsers. More beauty photos, too. Thank you!

Joanne Noragon said...

What a great, great trip. looking forward to the next leg.

Pearl said...

Oh, I would SO enjoy this!

What a beautiful day...


laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

OH wow!!!

first...i have never had a desire to go on a big cruise ship...

but THIS trip looks GREAT!! feels so down to earth...cozy-ish...

wonderful i think they'd have to carry me away from the fossils at the bay!!

susan m hinckley said...

Sounds like the trip of a lifetime! Thanks so much for sharing...can't wait to see part 2. Truly one of the most beautiful spots in the world.

Linda Sue said...

Salty dogs! Love the shot of the David B moored in it's berth. You hit the calendar just right for this adventure, you know...A narrow window of perfect!

Jan Blawat said...

What kind of superwoman not only bakes bread, but does it in a wood stove on a boat? I'm not even good at buying bread. Thank you for sharing your vacation, I've always wondered about that part of the country.

Mel said...

found you via Etsy and am so envious of that lovely boat trip! what Heaven. the Cascades look enticing, too--was out that way years ago and the whole west was so big and wonderful compared to our crowded East Coast... sounds just lovely! thanks for sharing!

Carla said...

I know what I want to do for Eric and I's 25th wedding anniversary next summer!!!! I cried when we left Orcas Island a few summers ago. Those islands got into my soul like nothing I've ever experienced. I'd love to see more of them and the David B. would be the perfect way!!