Tall ships: Next time the ships will come
July 3, 2008 · Updated 9:28 PM
All was ready. The guests of honor were invited and responded positively. The Town of Coupeville had planted the seed money to get the event off and running using approved 2 percent monies. The Coupeville Chamber of Commerce set up the website for general information, the island newspapers gave the event much publicity.
The food/mussels were generously donated and prepared by Jefferds Penn Cove Shellfish; Harbor Marine Products/Vic Christianson supplied the salmon at a greatly reduced rate; and Simon Bargh and the incomparable Heidi handled the cooking from Rosis Restaurant here in Coupeville.
The Beachwatchers supplied much-needed manpower, Greenbank Brigade under Karen Bishop (of Greenbank) served three grand meals in three days. Beverages were donated by Guinness Northwest Distributorship. Wonderful music by the Shifty Sailors and the Aaron Parks Trio was performed and the Shifties even wandered the waterfront lending a Coupeville local touch to the weekend. It took the efforts of so many people to make successful a brief Tall Ships Festival which would benefit ASTA, an organization which is dedicated to helping young adults through challenging times.
All was ready, but the head table had but one occupant. Yes, the beautiful Cutty Sark and Rejoice joined in the celebration, but the Lady Washington stole the show with her magnificent presence, exceptional captain and crew as they gave the people what they wanted a truly unforgettable experience. The weather was brilliant and the crowds responded in kind. The Island County Historical Museum presented a Tall Ships exhibition as well.
As the one most responsible for this event, I had a vision . . . a picture in my minds eye. But as my future son-in-law, who pitched for the Texas Rangers farm system, said so eloquently: In the bottom of the ninth inning, the score is tied, the bases are loaded and the count is full. You make the perfect pitch to the hitter, low and over the inside, fat part of the plate, just above the knees, freezing the hitter and the umpire calls ball four! You have done your best but some things are just not under your control.
Maybe not this time.
On Aug. 13, the 13 ASTA vessels including the Lady Washington will depart Anacortes for Coupeville; three will be carrying passengers. The route will take them under Deception Pass sailing eastward in a parade of sails at about midday, and all 13 are scheduled to arrive in Coupeville/Penn Cove at about 5 p.m. where the passengers will disembark.
For particulars/tickets call 1-800-200-LADY. The Shifty Sailors will be signing aboard one of the vessels just to make sure this time.
Wylie Vracin, M.D.