Jim Short stands before a wood carving Friday, May 26, 2017, in his Coupeville shop. The carving will be part of a whale bell that is coming to the Coupeville Wharf. An unveiling celebration will take place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 3. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Jim Short stands before a wood carving Friday, May 26, 2017, in his Coupeville shop. The carving will be part of a whale bell that is coming to the Coupeville Wharf. An unveiling celebration will take place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 3. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Coupeville will ring in the whales with new bell

The first ringing of the new Coupeville Whale Bell will take place Saturday at the Coupeville Wharf.

If you attend the afternoon ceremony, you might want to cover your ears.

“It’s loud,” Jim Short said. “It’s a really loud bell. Those who ring it are going to need ear plugs.”

Short, a Coupeville artist who specializes in wood turning, created a wood carving of an orca whale that will be mounted on top of the bell.

The carving, his first such work, was inspired by the whale wheel and other works by the late Roger Purdue.

The metal bell, only about a foot tall, was a gift from Matt Iverson’s family, which started the process of creating a whale bell for Coupeville.

“We shamelessly stole the idea Langley had,” joked Vickie Chambers, executive director of the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association.

The bell prompted a call from Chambers to her friend, Short.

“I reached out to him and asked, ‘Where should I start?’” she said. “He took the bull by the horns and carved an incredible whale.”

The ceremony starts with a performance by the Shifty Sailors at 3:30 p.m., followed by an introduction by Chambers and speeches by Mayor Molly Hughes and Susan Berta, co-founder of the Orca Network.

The bell should start ringing by 4:15 p.m.

After that, the intent is to start ringing it whenever a whale is in view from the wharf, which happens at least a handful of times a year.

“Between Matt, the bell and Jim’s artistry we hooked up with a welder in Langley who mounted a sturdy frame,” Chambers said.

“All of these different pieces fell together. The Port of Coupeville has been a great partner. They allowed us to put the bell on the wharf.”

Chambers also thanked the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce for its support.

The timing coincides with Orca Awareness Month, which takes place in June. The awareness campaign focuses on awareness of the endangered Southern Resident orcas.

More in Life

Annual Whidbey Gardening Workshop grows online this year

The island-wide gardening event is back this year after it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Whidbey writer’s hospice book released in paperback

Oak Harbor author Karen J. Clayton’s book, “Demystifying Hospice: Inside the Stories… Continue reading

Reading to dog
Therapy dogs go online

Reading with Rover pairs pooches with young readers

Lead actress Shannyn Sossamon talks with filmmakers Andrew Morehouse, left, and Nate Bell while filming “The Hour After Westerly” at the Fort Casey Inn. Photo by Wes Anthony/Firehouse Creative
Film featuring Whidbey free to view temporarily

“The Hour After Westerly” is free to view online until Jan. 17.

Mead maker Jeremy Kyncl pours a tasting glass of Hawthorn Tulsi Mead, a blend of hawthorn berry and holy basil, in the new Whidbey tasting room of Hierophant Meadery. Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
From bluff to bluff: Meadery off to sweet start

Hierophant Meadery in Freeland features local honey in its sweet brews.

Susie Van
WI Drive helping to get the elderly, disabled where they need to go

A Langley woman gives rides to people in need in her new van named “Cookie.”

t
A Hero for All Time: Research reveals a decorated former Fort Casey soldier

Coupeville woman writes book about local WWI soldier who gained Col. George S. Patton’s admiration.

teaser
Bakery moves to new location

Chris’ Bakery is in a new location with a new owner.

I Love You
Wendy’s manager shares the love one drive-thru customer at a time

April DiDonna tells Oak Harbor Wendy’s customers she cares.

Goodall arranges some food in the to-go window, where customers pick up their food from outside.
New cafe in town adapted to COVID world

Langley Kitchen has adapted to the times.

Dianne and Dave Binder, owners of the Anchorage Inn in Coupeville, said they are ready to retire and have listed the large Victorian for sale. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
Coupeville B&B goes on the market for $1.3 million

The owners of the Anchorage Inn in Coupeville are ready to retire.

Jamie Farage demonstrating how the photo booth works. Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News-Times
New Clinton store encourages shoppers to buy local

The Whidbey Artists Collective, located at Ken’s Korner, has become a perfect place for artists.