Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rainy Day Women

For the past three years we have been driving up to Washington every summer to cruise the Pacific Northwest in Kalliope our 37' Bob Perry designed Tayana. This year, we decided, would be different. We decided to make the plunge and move to the soggy NW from our home in Colorado (aka, the land of eternal sunshine).
I've always worried that the winter weather would get to me and so I vowed to spend month in the Seattle area during the dead of winter so I could get a feel for what the gloom was really all about. So we packed up the cruiser, the cats, 5 pairs of skis, a snowboard, snowshoes and god knows what else, for our winter tour of the west.
Now somewhere along the line, I managed to hijack the plan a bit. I figured, I didn't really want to live in Washington, but maybe we could live closer. Some place that wouldn't take us 2 days to drive. So I inscribed a big circle and created a list of the who's who of Western Sports Mecas. These cities had all made somebodies top 10 list, one way or the other. Bozeman, Missoula, Bend, Boise, Bainbridge, Bellingham, Ballard, (damn a lot of Bs here), and Port Townsend, rounded out our short list of places that we might like to live. Before it was all over, we also checked out Spokane, and Sausalito.

Just South of Bozeman on Ted Turner's Ranch
Now you probably think that I'm going to go into a long winding story about the virtues and vices of all of these fine towns that we visited. I could, and it might make an interesting story, but I'll chase to the meet. The original goal was to see what Washington was like in the winter. We though that we had it it pretty good. It had been raining for six weeks straight ... and when we arrived at Kalliope moored in Bainbridge it was still raining. As an added bonus, Kalliope's deck now matched her bright green hull. The entire deck was covered with a nice green slime. Well, that just wouldn't do so I managed to spend Sunday morning in the rain scrubbing the goo off of the boat. Did I mention that it was raining? Well it did rain, for about a day. Then the clouds parted and for the next two weeks it was just gorgeous. No rain at all. So how are we supposed to pick?

Port Towsend in February - Where's the Rain?
Well pick we did, and the winner is Bellingham, WA. We even got a Realtor set up and are looking for a place to move all of our land based possessions. As far as Kalliope goes, we've decided to more her north so that she can be a little closer to our new home. However, the waiting list for the Port of Bellingham Marina is something like 10 years long, so we settled on a place in Anacortes.

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay in Sausalito - I could almost live here.