Every summer since starting The Stowaway, I've made a point of sailing at least once on the brig Lady Washington and seeing as many other ships as I can. But this year I not only missed the Wooden Boat Festival at Seattle's Lake Union, I was perilously close to missing a sail on the Lady as well. Luckily, the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival was a chance to remedy both.
A day that broke cool and cloudy turned blue and bright by midday. Fortunately, a boat festival is an easy place to buy a hat.
The festival is a showcase for over a hundred boats, large and small, motored and paddled and sailed.
And there she was--the Lady Washington.
A perfect place from which to watch the parade of sail that ends the last day of the festival, and a chance to remind myself of those small sensory details of being aboard a ship that are part of Vivian Drew's story. (Of course, a fully-booked sail is not quiet, and not the place to hear the wind in the rigging. Cannon ball "booms" are another story.)
Our pirate nemesis! Luckily, she was not very large.
And so the summer's boat quest ended successfully, with not only a fun experience but with a few nautical observations I should have probably made before. There really is nothing like first-hand research if one can manage it.