the hyak’s rusty bow

The journey to Orcas Island aboard public transit involves various stops at in-between islands featuring suspiciously happy-looking men and women boarding or disembarking the boat with nothing but lumpy duffels and small rollerbags while passengers above on the sun deck are often to be found expectantly leaning over the railing, observant in the hopes of a song-and-dance number. Just when you imagine the captain is about to send the order down to engineering, a resigned shout rings through the air and here comes a red, dusty Toyota pickup truck with a flea-bitten shaggy dog sticking its head out the window sniffing at the briny air.

After one such interlude I looked down and pondered the hyak’s distressingly rusty bow (Puget Sound has some of the most corrosive water in the world) and the ferry was vibrating to such a degree it reminded me of at home when it feels like the big earthquake has finally hit but then a cooler head points out the washing machine is imbalanced again so we draw straws to see who runs down to the basement to tame the beast.  Aboard the ferry on the way home later in the week I counted five seals (each one separate from the other)! I took special delight in pointing out a couple of the critters to my fellow passengers with children. Adam and Oliver Fern came out to check on me occasionally but mostly they preferred to be inside with their mother, working on puzzles and playing hide and seek with each other around the boat. At any rate, each seal I initially spotted with the naked eye but I did have the luxury of binoculars at my service to extend these fleeting observations.

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