By Sea

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At Birch Bay – Laura and Herb on the right

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Birch Bay is a small community 10 miles from the Canadian border. No, I haven’t made a run for it yet! Walking down to the bay this afternoon we could see islands off the coast of Canada.  We got to Birch Bay last night around 9 pm after driving for almost 8 hours on Interstate 5 north. Laura and Herb Whiteway live here in Birch Bay in a lovely cottage which they have opened up to us for these couple of days before we catch  the ferry for Alaska. Laura and Herb are good friends. Laura owned the Coffee Shop in New Harmony and Herb was the hotel manager at the New Harmony Inn. Laura’s mom lived in the house that I bought in New Harmony and left her loving presence in the house and yard. Laura and Herb, in addition to being loving friends, exemplify gracious hospitality. Over these past days of waiting for the Subaru to be repaired, Laura has written me saying, “When the time is right you will be here.” They encourage everyone around them to be creative and at peace with who they are.

Laura and Herb, Sunset on Birch Bay

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Yesterday we drove to Whidbey Island just off the coast of Washington where Laura’s two sisters and their families live. Molly, who is married to Mickey Grimm and their son, Grafton also lived in New Harmony with their beagle, Henry. Henry went missing for a year while we all lived there and then was found 12 miles from home. A miracle dog, he is a sweet, loving 11 year old beauty! Sabrina, another of Laura and Molly’s sisters also lives on Whidbey as do 2 of her children. Four horses accompanied them to Whidbey from Nashville!

While on Whidbey Island we got to surprise Molly who is the parish administrator at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church there. What a beautiful campus they have laden with evergreens which slope to the sea. We explored the paths and buildings at St. Augustine’s while rejoicing that Molly is daily surrounded by this beauty and peace. Molly has a band called Swan Dive and  she has also sung with Don Henley of the Eagles. The CD’s she, Bill DeMain and her band have produced as Swan Dive are treasures of great song writing and beautiful music. There are a number of CDs…look them up!

The little village of Langley was also a destination yesterday on Whidbey Island. Some of the most beautiful art and handmade items are found in this beautiful village by the sea.

Window at St. Augustine’s, St. Francis and other statues/cross along path at  church

In Langley on Whidbey Island

Today we are leaving on the ferry for Alaska. The ship is about to pull out as I write. There isn’t any Wi Fi on the ship so my blogging will depend on my cell coverage so I can have a “hot spot”. Laura and Herb had a cook out at their house for us before we left and Molly and Mickey drove over with Grafton and his girlfriend, Sophie. After lunch they all headed with us to Bellingham to say good bye. I felt like a movie star as I walked up the ramp to the ship, waving and posing for photos! Jill, Pat and Fred’s daughter and Aida, their almost 5 year old granddaughter, Aida, have flown down to ride the ferry up to Alaska with us. Cabins on the ferry are very nice and we have 2 cabins side by side on the Cabin Deck.

I will take lots of pictures and write as I can  about our sea going adventures. In spite of the size of this vessel, we are taking lots of precautions against motion sickness. I think the weather is going to be wonderful which is especially nice because of the eclipse on Tuesday.


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Happy “Oma” with Aida on board the ferry

We are making our way up through the small islands in the Strait of Georgia on our way north now after leaving Bellingham. Evening light is filtering in the window of the cabin after a stunning sunset. Our”little” 832 foot long ferry, the Kennicott, is making safe passage towards Alaska.