I promised to write about my adventure yesterday and so I am…
A few days ago my brother, ragnorokt, was invited to attend a housewarming for a fellow home brewer in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. He asked if I would like to come along and having no objections I agreed. If you haven’t been lucky enough to have home brewers for friends or family let me tell you it’s a wonderful thing. They always brew more than they can drink and it’s up to folks like me to help them drink it all. Being a fan of beer I figured I would get to try some great brews and get some food.
We, my brother and I, are planning a trip to Germany and we thought it would be a good idea to stop by Rick Steves' travel store. After all it’s not far from the ferry terminal in Edmonds, so after a bit of shopping we could hop on the ferry and make our way to the island. Those of you who live in the Pacific Northwest might have noticed a slight flaw in my plan already, but hold for the fullness of my tale and don’t give it away to the others.
The travel store did not disappoint and while I didn’t learn much about Germany, the staff helped me get an idea of what sort of questions I need to answer for the trip. As we left I noticed we had a few minutes to make the ferry in Edmonds. So we rushed a bit and zipped aboard the boat with about a minute to spare. We weren’t the last car on the the ferry but it was close. I was actually feeling pretty good about myself as we made the crossing. It was a beautiful sunny day as we drove along the road and I was having a good time until we passed a sign for Port Townsend. Port Townsend? I don’t remember PT being on Whidbey Island. Nope, it is on the Olympic Peninsula and we had neatly made the wrong ferry. Gah! So much for being smug and ahead of the game.
This required a bit of consideration so ragnorokt and I pulled over and checked our maps. We could turn around, take the ferry back to Edmonds, drive up to Mukilteo, take the ferry there to Whidbey and continue on our journey. Our other option was to continue on to Port Townsend and take another ferry there across to Keystone, which is on the island, and make our way to the party. As I mentioned it was a nice day so we chose the second option and drove on. From prior experience I knew that the Port Townsend/Keystone ferry is small and it can fill up. My brother got on his phone and tried to make us a reservation, but the web page wasn’t working. So he got on the phone and worked on getting a reservation. He was told that if we could make the next ferry there was plenty of room and we wouldn’t have a problem. As we pulled in to the terminal I asked the woman taking the fares if this boat actually went to Whidbey. She said yes, and then mentioned we took the wrong boat earlier. “You must have taken the Edmonds/Kingston ferry,” she said. I replied that we had to which she replied, “You want the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry.” Thanks, this was information I could have used an hour ago… We had a pleasant crossing and then drove up to Oak Harbor without further incident.
Arriving at the housewarming a bit behind our planned time we joined the festivities in progress. M & J have a nice home and there was plenty of homebrew to sample. I wasted no time doing my part to relieve M of his overabundance of full bottles and replace them with empties so he would be able to pursue his hobby and fill them again. I’m nice like that you know.
Drinking and conversing with the other guests was going well and I was in a good place. Then I met J & T, a couple who are realtors on Whidbey Island. We were talking about music and they mentioned going to a shanty concert the night before. They were trying to tell me about a band they heard and I realized it was Pint and Dale, a local group. We kept talking about music and were hitting it off when T asked me if I would like to go with them to the second night of the concerts. Checking with my brother, who gave the ok to leave him at the party, I left with J & T and headed out to the show.
Riding along in the back of their car I realized that I had stepped into a classic horror movie setup. I’m on an island, it’s dark outside and I’m riding along with a couple of people I met not an hour earlier. It was quite a thrilling ride. Was I going to listen to music or was I going to be cleansed in the finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and sealed in a treble milk chocolate envelope, and lovingly frosted with glucose before being fed to Constable Parrot. As you can see I ended up listening to music as I am still here to tell this tale.
The show started off with the Shifty Sailors, a Whidbey Island group. They sang songs about whales and whaling. They were good and very entertaining. I really liked a couple of the songs and I hope they were on one of the CDs I bought. During their performance T leaned over to me and asked “What are the odds that you would go to a party and end up at a concert with a couple of strangers?” Pretty high I guess, as I was sitting next to her at the show. The next performer was a gentleman named J.W. Sparrow. There was one great song he sang about a Japanese fishing vessel that had drifted around the ocean for a couple of years before being recovered here. I will have to find a CD of his with the song so I can research the story more. Next was the previously mentioned Pint & Dale, a favorite of mine for a few years now. They did not disappoint in concert and I’m very happy to have seen them. Finally we had Broadside & Cabin Boys a fun group that I enjoyed. For some reason they had to shut down the venue at 10pm so all of the groups got back up and performed one last song together. Then everyone put up their chairs to lend a hand with the cleanup.
J, T and I headed back to the car to head back to the party. I had left my coat at the party because it wasn’t cold but coming out of the concert it was chilly. Let me say that finding out that the back seats were also heated was a nice thing. A nice thing that I enjoyed quite a bit on the drive back. Back at the party I met up with my brother who had messaged me a few times, but the show was outside of the service area so I wasn’t receiving his messages until then. It was now about 11pm and I had missed most of the food and the mead tasting, but I didn’t mind. I scrounged a bit of dinner from the leftovers and talked with other folks at the party while making sure I was sober to drive.
We finally left Oak Harbor about midnight and instead of taking our chances with the Washington State Ferry System again we drove through Deception Pass and made our way back south on I-5. We finally got home around 2:30am where I thankfully sank into bed and tried to sleep with memories of this day, ferry boats, shanty songs and good beer in my head. It was… Quite an evening.