38th Wooden Boat Festival

 (You can click on the photos to see bigger versions!)

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I’m so appreciative of trees for their contributions to civilization! They give us homes, furniture, transportation and musical instruments. This weekend we had our annual Wooden Boat Festival. We saw everything from carefully crafted rowboats to steamships, all made primarily of wood. Performers roamed around making music on guitars, bagpipes and accordions. It was a grand celebration of the beauty and variety of wood, and our ability to make things out of it.

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This year’s star attraction was the Virginia V (“Fifth”), a 152 ft. steamship built in 1922. She has three levels, and was part of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet, a group of Northwestern vessels operating between the 1850s and the 1930s. Lovingly restored by a new generation of marine craftspersons, Virginia V now lives in Lake Union, Seattle.

I spent a lovely Sunday touring the boats and listening to the tales of their owners. Those who live on boats are a bit different from us land dwellers. They are more willing to engage and trade, and they welcome visitors. Though some liveaboards are wealthy, most own little beyond their vessels and the clothes they wear. Having the freedom to go from place to place as desired is more important than acquiring a lot of possessions. Hauling too much ballast, excess cargo or too heavy an anchor is considered unwise.

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