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

Rod and Gun Club a catch for the community

An 83-year-old South Whidbey institution dedicated to social activities and outdoor sports… Continue reading

Hot diggity! New stand launches in Oak Harbor

A new hot dog stand is finding its footing in Oak Harbor.… Continue reading

Anna Zefferys, Founder of Bart’s Better Food cooks the plant-based meat alternative into a burger.
                                Photo by Brandon Taylor
New biz is meatless in Freeland

After spending 12 years in New York, a Freeland native has returned… Continue reading

Belov artwork shown at Schouten Gallery during July

Rob Schouten Gallery will present “Facade: What Lies Beneath the Surface,” July… Continue reading

New Freeland frozen yogurt business stays cool

Starting a new business can be a big risk, especially during a… Continue reading

Summer delight: A scenic bike ride and a pie

Grab your bike helmet, it’s time to register for the fifth annual… Continue reading

Two from Whidbey Magna Cum Laude at Whitworth

The following students from Whidbey Island were awarded degrees from Whitworth University… Continue reading

Two from Whidbey Magna Cum Laude at Whitworth

The following students from Whidbey Island were awarded degrees from Whitworth University… Continue reading

SEBASTIAN WURZRAINER, of Coupeville, is one of Dartmouth College’s six valedictorians from… Continue reading

Oak Harbor student on Marquette dean’s list

Oak Harbor native Callie Nuttall named to Marquette University’s spring 2020 Dean’s… Continue reading

Keep your germs, cover your face in style

It was once the look for bandits, ninjas and dentists. Now it’s… Continue reading

Rockin’ a Hard Place: Whidbey’s other pandemic: It’ll make you buggy

By Harry Anderson The pandemic is getting worse. The death toll here… Continue reading