This week we entered one of our fave places known as Pirate’s Cove. It is a BC Provincial Marine Park that has an interesting approach. It is on the south end of De Courcy Island and you need to line up a large white arrow on a slope with a larger white “X” nailed to a tree. Once you have that in sight you head straight for shore only to make a 90 degree left hand turn through a narrow, shallow opening. There is a red buoy, U38, which you need to keep to your right, or starboard, as you enter. Once you are past that point you are in Pirate’s Cove!! It has a number of places to stern tie and a few spots to anchor in 12-15 feet of water. There is a treasure chest set into a spit of land just above the entrance and other than a few Jolly Rogers flying from yardarms that is as “piratey” as it gets… until I show up!
All of that is to set up this story about “The Return of the Pirates”. Back in my much younger days, my darling of a wife threw me a surprise 55th birthday party of which the theme was Pirates! I was told that we were leaving town and to pack a bag; that was all I needed to know! So, being the dutiful spouse I did just that! While I may have fallen off the turnip truck as a baby; it wasn’t the day before and I finally began to figure things out and therefore I was not too surprised when we stopped at a local restaurant instead of leaving town.
The big surprise was what was waiting for me inside! My mind was furiously racing with who might be there and had figured that perhaps my kids; Brad, Greg & Katie, a local friend Nancy, and perhaps Bill & Elizabeth Hamilton since they lived nearby on Whidbey Island in Freeland. Imagine the shock I had when upon entering the dining room that yep!, those people were there… as well as about 12 other people! There was my big brother Ron and his wife, Cindy as well as their beautiful daughter Kacie; my little brother Scooter and my best friend Randy along his wife Chris; all there from Southern California. There was Sue’s sister, Meg and her husband Bob from southern Washington as well as Bob and Colette friends from Boeing and Dan Wagner and his wife Pam from my old neighborhood in Covington! But the weirdest part was that they were all decked out in pirate costumes! Big hats with lots of feathers, shoulder parrots and hooks abounded! Eye patches, blousy shirts, loopy ear rings of gold, medallions, beads… anything that was relative to a pirate was in play… including my big brother’s rather extreme interpretation of the pirates theme by wearing a baseball jersey from, you guessed it, the Pittsburgh Pirates! Oh, and the grog!!! It was flowing well before I got there and flowed rather freely even after we returned home! A wonderful dinner with lots of laughs and toasts!
Home, as luck would have it, was a B&B that consisted of two Victorian homes built in the late 1800’s which was fortunate for this gathering since most were staying with us for a couple of days! And as my luck continued, we had just opened a Pub at the B&B where there was more imbibing after closing time! Even the local Liquor Control Board boys stopped by! UH-OH!!! So the party continued for another day or two as Sue and I shared our little slice of Whidbey Island with friends and family. Unfortunately, we don’t have the pictures from the party available to post with this blog. We do, however, have the picture book on board!
And so to wrap up this story, our trip here to Pirate’s Cove as part of our continuing Grand Adventure in searching out our “Permanent Picnic” lifestyle, has reminded me of the wonderful, exciting, surprising, most awesome 55th birthday imaginable! And it was only XXXX years ago!
It has me remembering friends and family; the smiles and laughter, the enjoyment of sharing times of life, both mundane and with grog flowing, which creates such wonderful memories, memories that continue to be a part of me. Memories that still make me smile and laugh out loud at the oddest moments! My heartfelt thanks to everyone for my very own Hallmark moments!
Perhaps a key to understanding how wonderful this party was is in that some of the odds and ends from it made it onto the boat! Decisions about what to take and what not to take when loading up a boat for an extended voyage become savage to the point of ruthlessness, and difficult because they also contain lots of memories. However these few items prompted such warm memories that they found a spot both in my heart and on the boat! I hope you enjoy these pictures of a special moment in my life! And as I am often prompted to say…” aaaaaargh! Will ye be having a tot of rum?” To which my children retort, “We’ll do the dialogue here, sir!” But that is a different story for a different time. Until the next time I get my literary juices a-flowing, Marty