Dive Bombers of Seattle

I’ve recently read BRITT SKRABANEK’s blog about a visit she took recently to Seattle and it brought back memories of some funny trips I’ve taken there. I’ve been to Seattle several times with my family to enjoy the people, sights and sound of a great city by the sea.

Of course we went to all the must see sights but also went to a few out of the way places. It seems every time I go somewhere I have odd experiences that are funny—to me—and they always bring a smile.

Seattle

Seattle

My kids were young at the time of our first visit and we started off in the pier area. I decided we would walk up to Pike’s Market and found a long stairway up to the next street level. We were about halfway up when my oldest son grabbed my arm and said, “Daddy. There’s a dead man down there!” My younger son and daughter agreed, so I stopped the precession and made my way down to the bottom hoping I wouldn’t find what my son thought he saw. I looked around and found no one that might be dead and my son yelled down, “Under the steps.”

I went around under the steps and there was a man sleeping, I hoped. I called out to him and he mumbled a few disparaging words, which was a great relief. He tightened his grip on his bottle of wine and went back to sleep. I left him with a few dollars and laughed as I re-climbed the stairs. I told my son. “It’s okay. He’s not dead, but he will feel like it when he wakes up.”

After visiting the market and watching the workers throw big fish to one another we made our way to the park at the end of the street. Here was my second surprise. There were a number of homeless people and they were all of Asian descent. I was amazed. For some reason it never occurred to me that there were Asians who were homeless. I’m from the South and at the time Asian weren’t that common. Yes, my wife is from Thailand but 2 and 2 does not always equal 4 with me.

Throwing fish at the market

Throwing fish at the market

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

They were a happy group and my kids went over to see what they were doing. They treated my children as part of the family and I had to drag them away to go on to our next adventure. We all waved as we left.

On a company trip I had been working for 36 hours straight and I was tired. So I went outside to look around and it was so foggy I couldn’t see five feet away. A big blob flew passed my head missing me by only a few feet and I ducked, wondering if they threw fish in the fog. As I stood up another blob whizzed by but this time I caught a glimpse of it. It was a seagull! I found out that they fly low to the ground when the fog is so thick. Sounds kind of dangerous for either party.

Fog in Seattle

Fog in Seattle

Seattle is one of my favorite places to visit. There are days so clear Mount Rainier seems close enough to touch and the sea shimmers in the bay. There are also many days of rain and fog and it’s like exploring the unknown as you go forth on your adventure. And the seafood is wonderful.

Check out Britt’s blog. She’s a very nice person to know and quite talented!

All photo’s were borrowed from the internet for this blog only.

Have you had any crazy things happen while in a strange place?

THAILAND TIME

Thailand

Thailand

 

 

Our time in Thailand is almost over. My wife and I have been busy at the farm. My plan was to get back to Thailand and take it easy—best laid plans and all that. We’ve both had a great time and can’t decide if we’re excited to go back to the States or not. Time will tell. I’ve made up my mind that if things get crazy or my mind wanders then it’s back to Thailand for us. I may make my way back via sailboat.

My mind and body have been recharging and relaxing. That’s not how it had been in our nearly yearlong stay in the States, but I’ve made some decisions that will hopefully carry over when we return. One thing I did quite early in our visit is stop smoking. Notice I didn’t say quit. We’ll see how it goes in the States, but I’m in the right frame of mind now.

Two of my many projects

Two of my many projects

My wife and I are looking forward to getting back to the ocean and do some fishing. We have two small ponds on our farm where we raise fish. I enjoy watching my wife try and net some for supper, but being near the ocean is what I need.

Julee gathering supper and having fun

Julee gathering supper and having fun

We’ve gotten along with Julee’s family better than we ever have before. I’m not sure if it’s the knowing we’ll be leaving again or we’re just so happy to visit family without the stress. It’s been fun. My brother-in-law is a hoot. He’s in his 70’s and I can’t keep up with him. His fashion sense is impeccable, as you can see from the photo( mine needs a bit of work).  He’ll be looking after things while we are away. We’ve given him a few acres to plant as thanks for helping out. We can’t stop him from working so we thought that letting him plant tapioca will do him good. Not too labor intensive, but just enough to keep you moving. And the profit is all his. He’s a happy man.

Brother-in-law and me

Brother-in-law and me

It will be good to get back to the high speed world so I can watch Youtube without waiting and of course fishing, working on my boat, looking for a sailboat, American TV, Mexican food and well, that’s about it.

Here’s just a few pics from our visit. Enjoy

Nephew and son helping out

Nephew and son helping out

 

Niece and her grandchild

Niece and her grandchild

 

Dream a little dream

Dream a little dream

Listening To Dolphins

 I’ve been missing the sea more and more and I thought I’d tell you about a trip my family took many years ago.

I rented a small house at Mexico Beach in the Florida panhandle but I towed our 26 foot sailboat down two weeks early. My family, three young children and my wife, spend over a week sailing in the Gulf of Mexico but each night we would return to the isolated tip of Cape San Blas peninsula that encloses the large St Joseph Bay to anchor. Not another boat in sight.

Our small boat was cramped for sleeping but I never heard a complaint and that in itself was a miracle with three young (pre-teen) children on board. During the day we would sail the clear, sparkling blue of the gulf or explore the coastline of the deserted peninsula. Some days we would anchor and snorkel or fish, or we would head out into the blue and enjoy being out of sight of land.

St Joseph Bay is known as a breeding ground for nurse sharks and we would swim among baby sharks without a worry. In the shallow grass beds far up in the bay we would walk in knee deep water picking up bay scallops off the sea grass like eggs in a nest. If I haven’t said before; my wife is an extraordinary cook—even on a two burner alcohol stove top.

Night was my favorite time. We were completely alone at anchor with no lights to disturb our little world. The Milky Way lay across the sky like a belt of diamonds. The water would glow like shooting stars as larger fish streaked by in search of food. But what I enjoyed the most were the dolphins. I think we found a resting place they used to take a break from their endless travels. We would sit in the cockpit in total darkness and listen to these amazing mammals as they would come lazily to the surface beside our boat and to breathe. The dolphins didn’t chatter at night so hearing them blow and feel the mist of their breath was magical for us all. It is a moment one could never forget.

During the day dolphins would ride the bow wave and if we were quite we could hear their chitters and cheeps through the hull of our boat. The kids loved to stand in the pulpit—the bow of the sailboat—and look down on them. The dolphins would turn on their sides and look up at the children and the kids would run back to the cockpit and say, “Dad, they were looking at us!”

Those were days my family will never forget. As my mind turns to the sea again I may post more about sailing far from land or the two years I spent in the Marshall Islands. I hope you enjoyed this little interlude.

I don’t have any digital images of our trips but it is something I must attend to. I do have one shot of my wife, oldest son and me enjoying a day fishing—back when we were all very young.