Week four and I'm already breaking the one-photo rule, eh, whatever, it's my site. Plus, I think you'll appreciate the zoom shot.
I'm on a wonderfully large yacht with four other writers, our hosts, a catered spread of local salmon and all of the delights that go with it. (More about that and them later)
The Captain has disappeared to his post, leaving the passengers to the buffet table and to enjoy the insightful comments, and pointing gestures about sights along the shoreline, from the Harbor Expert. Bellingham harbor is a thriving fishing port and home to very notable businesses and expert ship builders.
The sun is starting to set through a smoked filled sky, a result of fires burning in Canada and Washington, casting a haze over the horizon. The sun eventually brightened to a red orb and the sky filled with milky rose colors.
As the passengers milled around the back of the yacht, I discovered a little staircase that took me to the very front, to the stern. Yes, I had to look up the name of "front of boat". The stern was magical and open and serene.
I carefully climbed up the stairs and stood on the stern looking out over the glassy water at the harbor. Time stood still. The sun was soft and the water was quiet. Off in the distance I saw a couple snuggling under the boardwalk, sitting on the rocks and hidden from the foot traffic above. I saw a group of teens jumping off the boardwalk, then swimming to the dock, and running to do it over and over again. I saw the harbor life beginning to rest for the day and the movements along the shoreline began to lessen.
On the water, little boats were anchored out in the bay, some waiting for their owners to return the next morning, some with passengers enjoying the sky show.
I stood by myself for a significant amount of time. It was like I had a secret hiding place on the boat, and I was enjoying every little minute that passed before it was discovered by all. I had unobstructed views and the warm summer air blowing through my hair. All I could do was smile that smile of pure contentment, of awe, of pinch-me, of appreciation. The Captain and I exchanged knowing looks through his window, acknowledging the beauty surrounding us and my stolen location moment.
We cut quietly through the water and passed a sailboat to our right. This sailboat had two passengers but I didn't see them right away, thinking this was just another of the anchored-for-the-night boats. Because the scene was so spectacular with the sun setting and the reflection of the sailboat on the water I continued to study it for an extended period of time.
When I saw them, I laughed. Out loud. No one could hear but myself, and then I laughed again.
I shouted through my laughter, "I LOVE IT". They didn't move, not one bit but held their pose with precision and commitment.
Standing with their backs to our yacht, the two sailboat passengers were hoisting up large swords, with full stance, straight to the sky. They held this pose the entire time our boat passed, never looking over their shoulders to see if we were watching, never wavering. We were not going fast so it felt like it took a good long while. Everything fell into slow motion.
I don't know who these harbor pirates were, but I applaud them and their commitment and for creating an incredible moment. I don't know if any other passengers on my boat saw this display, and while I hoped they did, I'm also okay if it was only for my and the Captain's eyes.
When people talk about the fires and the smoke overtaking the Northwest, I will forever think of these two sword wielding boat dwellers, who knew exactly how to live a life well.