Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pierre's Echo Bay Marina Visits the Seattle Boat Show -- Monday, January 30, 2017

Having attended the Seattle Boat Show on the opening day last Friday, when we tasted some really good wine, and visited with the Ranger Tug factory people (and shared our good experiences with our R-31 with some folks shopping for a boat), we return on Monday to go upstairs and see the exhibits and booths there.

Last year I was able to stand behind some people talking to Tove and Pierre of Pierre's Echo Bay Marina and clap my hands like Tove does to call guests to dinner at their lodge and marina.  It was then that Tove looked up to see who the former guest is.

But this time I am not able to sneak up on her.  She sees Herb and me just as they prepare for a photo shoot, and invites us the be in the picture. 

Tova gestures us to come on in!

Tove introduces us to her friends, who are also in the photo.  Directly behind her and to the right (unfortunately in a shadow) is Harry Caraco of M/V Mi Alma, and to the right of him is Howard Behar, former owner of M/V Tapestry. She says they met through the marina.

Howard is the former international president of Starbucks. He’s just written a very inspirational book, “It’s Not About the Coffee”. (It’s about leadership principles. It’s about the people; about how you treat them that comes first - employees and customers).   Howard and Harry have been best friends since elementary school.

Here is a link to our favorite marina in The Broughtons of British Columbia, Pierre's Echo Bay Marina.  When we visit this Summer, we may just get lucky enough to hear a presentation by Howard.

                                                                                   From left:  Pierre, Herb, Willie, Tove, Harry, and Howard
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, January 30 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

Eagle Harbor Yacht Club Celebrates Mardi Gras -- Saturday, January 28, 2017

Allan, Commodore of the Eagle Harbor Yacht Club, welcomes the members to the Annual Meeting, which has the theme of Mardi Gras.  This touches Herb and me close to home, as we are originally from Louisiana, where the holiday is much celebrated in New Orleans.

Tonight is a night of laughter.  It is delightful to see the interaction between the members who have known each other for some time.  A lot of wit is exchanged, and Herb and I look forward to future get togethers with the group and getting to know them better.

Besides Allan and Yvonne, the club members attending that we already know are Janeane and Lyman and it is wonderful to see them again.  Who is missing?  David and Maureen.

Among the new friends we meet are Diane and Riley.   Diane brings us news of her neighbors, June and Herb, with whom we have boated in the Ranger Tug cruises.

And, of course, Tobi.  We find lots to laugh about.

The menu is traditional New Orleans, but 'red beans and rice' on Saturday?  That is a Monday dish in the Big Easy; however, this is Bainbridge and we must compliment the caterers!  Delicious food!

Oh, did I mention that the meeting is held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Parish Hall?

                                                                                            St. Barnabas Episcopal Parish Hall
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
    Saturday, January 28, 2017

Getting to Bainbridge Island -- Saturday, January 28, 2017

Bruce's promise of pleasant, sunny, weather comes true again this morning as Herb and I enjoy a fabulous sunrise aboard Willie's Tug in Lake Union.  The pinks, yellows, and fiery reds paint a picture not equaled on canvas by human hands with an artist's brush.  

And a nice reflection in the port side windows of the boat.

So our day begins as we look ahead to the annual meeting of the Eagle Harbor Yacht club.  Having been members for a couple of years, we have never been in the Pacific Northwest to meet new friends and do some boating with them.  But today we leave Willie's Tug behind and opt for a ferry ride from Seattle over to Bainbridge Island for the get together.

Along our walk to the ferry terminal, we get a bonus -- an up close view of Amazon's geodesic dome, which will be its new novelty headquarters, housing a gigantic greenhouse with grassy mounds and trees to provide a flexible workspace for up to 1,800 employees.  There will also be an off-lease dog park. 

Imagine that!

Arriving at the ferry terminal we grab a cup of steaming hot Seattle coffee as we get in line to purchase tickets for the ride across Puget Sound, leaving the city behind.

Find the wheel that Willie won't ride....

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Tasting Uncorked Wine at the Seattle Boat Show -- Friday, January 27, 2017

When I hear the word, uncorked, I immediately think of my host about to pour a glass of wine for me.  That is exactly what happens at the opening day of the Seattle Boat Show. Doors open at 11A for viewing boats and visiting dealers, and at 5P corks pop off.  

But first, Willie's Tug is invited to a different slip at the Selene dock on Lake Union -- the better to see the sunrises and sunsets.  Since we did not take her out cruising last Summer, I worry that I have forgotten most of the navigation I once knew.  However, my captain slips right into the helm seat and backs the boat into the new slip.

Then on to the Boat Show, tasting stations are set up at strategic locations throughout the indoor location in CenturyLink Field.  This allows guests to sample a variety of award winning Washington and California wines -- both red and white.  

Herb and I make note of our favorites to guide future purchases.  Waiters visit the queues to serve hors d'oeuvres.  We may not need to go to dinner after the event.

After making our way to all stations, we return to our choice, Firesteed Cellars' 2013 Oregon Pinot Noir.  No, we did not empty all these bottles, but did sample from -- again, our choice -- a stemless wine glass seen in the photo below.

This link is to the Firesteed website, and I copy its description of this wine:  "Lively and expressive, this wine's aromas of raspberry, cinnamon, blueberry, and flavors of cocoa powder and Rainier cherry, encourage second sip before flowing into the soft, lingering finish."

Find Willie's wine glass....

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Friday, January 27, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

Street Legal -- Thursday, January 26, 2017

When Herb tells me back in January that he had booked our flights to Seattle for the Boat Show, I notice our return trip is about two weeks later.  Why? I ask. How many days does it take to look at a boat?  How many boats do we need to look at?

The reply is that we will do other things, go other places, as well.  Makes sense. So with our PNW Jeep in Anacortes, Bruce drives us there to register "W Jane," as she is known, in the state of Washington, County of Skagit.  

Herb is ready with screw driver to switch out the plates.   Off with the old Texas tags, on with the new Washington.  W Jane is now 'street legal,' no longer just parked in Cap Sante's parking lot.   Bruce gets a photo of the changing of the license plates.

                                                                      Photo by Bruce C. Moore

With afternoon Seattle traffic in mind, we skip The Brown Lantern restaurant, Village Pizza, and the Bowling Alley -- yes, a favorite place to eat in Anacortes -- and head south, looking for a fast food restaurant to get a quick bite on the way home.

Five Guys restaurant in Burlington WA provides us with burgers and fries!  So delicious, and such a generous service of fries, that I ask for a go-box.

Our last stop is Trader Joe's for meals easily prepared on a boat with minimal time spent.  Great idea, Bruce.  Oh, and a bottle or two of wine.

Willie's Tug is now home for a few days in a slip at the Selene Yachts docks in Lake Union, a do-able walk to the Boats Afloat part of the Seattle Boat Show.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   Thursday, January 26, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Just How Cold Was it? -- Wednesday, January 25, 2017

This morning, February 17, I sit at my kitchen table in Houston sipping a cup of hot coffee, and feel thankful for the air conditioner which runs 24/7.  What a difference a four hour flight makes!

I recall the temp in Seattle a couple of weeks ago, when it warmed up to the 40s.  We enjoyed many sunny days and some rain or mist on other days.  To quote a good friend who lives there, "There is no bad WX in Seattle, only inappropriate clothing."

I agree, and now go back in time to Wednesday, January 25.

Vicki tells me about the bar tending class, whose limited seating is sold out.  She offers to give her ticket to Herb, and even her book, but miraculously she is able to find two more seats allowed, and Herb and I are in!!!

Evidence of 'not your Texas weather'....

After the class, with hats and jackets on, we prepare to brave the temperature outside, and Bruce and Vicki get their books signed by Jamie Boudreau.

Bonus:  Q & A Session
Did I mention that it is a bit chilly when we began our trek several blocks to the Canon Restaurant?  And after sunset when we walk home, the temp drops a little more.  But who cares?  We reflect on the great evening, and I get to take a photo of our group with the space needle in the background.

                                                                                                                                           Herb, Bruce and Vicki
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Seattle Boat Show, 2017 -- Tuesday and Wednesday, January 24 - 25, 2017

If it's late January, it's the Seattle Boat Show.  We have a boat, named Willie's Tug, so why do we need to go to the Boat Show?    To look at boats, of course. And to see our boating friends, and perhaps a few reasons not revealed to me by Herb.  Also, Seattle is a nice place to celebrate a birthday.

Uber brings us to the airport and I am reminded that Texas is known for its cowboy culture when I see a 'Texas size' boot as we head to our boarding gate.

The good news is that our flight is on time, and the other news is that Seattle WX at 6:45A Texas time is 34 degrees, dropping to 32 before rising to mid 40s for our arrival.  Yes, I am wearing a jacket, and yes, I did pack a hat, gloves and a sweater.

Our exciting week begins with a bar tending class sponsored by Hot Stove Society, a year round cooking school conducted by Tom Douglas restaurants. This evening's class is in downtown Seattle, and joined by Bruce and Vicki, we are treated very special by being invited to be the first to enter the classroom and get front row seats at the bar.  

Jamie Boudreau, owner of the Canon cocktail bar and restaurant, begins by demonstrating a punch that he suggests for a party of twenty or so guests.  He reminds us that a host should be able to enjoy the friends and not get stuck all night mixing drinks.  He shows how to make the punch ahead and assemble at the last minute just before the guests arrive.

Punch bowl, fruit, bottles of ingredients, and tools are laid out for us.

Jamie discusses strainers, different kinds of shakers, and explains when you would shake a drink and when you would stir one.  Herb says if he learned just one thing, it was worth his time to attend.  He will never use a foil cutter on a wine bottle again.  He regularly demonstrates to me now how easy it is to slip off the foil.

The overhead camera  shows slices of frozen fruit on top of the punch.  (Seen behind Jamie.)  He suggests using a block of ice rather than ice cubes to prevent dilution of the mixture.

Hors d'oeuvres are served at each tasting, and the vegetable plate is very delicious, with a nice presentation as well.

Here Jamie shows his signature cocktail, 'The Canon Cocktail,' and best seller at the bar.  

He sprays the egg white foam with bitters through a stencil of his canon logo. The black stencil is placed on top of the glass, but hard to see in the photo, as it blends in with the background of the bar/kitchen.

Below is a photo looking down onto the drink to see the results of spraying the stencil.

Each attendee is given a copy of his cocktail book, and as we leave, Jamie signs them.  Having a south Louisiana heritage, Herb is excited to learn his last name, but Jamie says he can't claim the same.  A French Canadian, he moved to Seattle from Vancouver BC.  

He jokingly signs Herb's book "Boudreau is a fine moniker, provided you lose the X!"

                                                 Bruce C. Moore contributed to the photo collection

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   January 24-25, 2017