Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Seattle Ed.; Marine Mammal Voyeurs

Sunday – The three of us were up early and set out for a lovely Sunday Brunch. We walked to a local joint at the top of the hill and even though the weather was not perfect (a bit overcast) we opted to sit outside. After returning my lipstick stained coffee mug and my water, which had a “floater”, I was happily satisfied with my tasty blueberry waffles.

Back to the apartment before noon, Scooter and I had plenty of time to add more warm layers of clothing in preparation for our day’s adventure – Whale Watching! Once again we packed our sundries and hopped into our trusty vehicle. Only a 1.5 hour drive north on Rt. 5 to Anacortes – after the previous day’s driving that seemed like a trip around the block.

We headed out of Seattle and in no time Scooter was fighting the napping urge and once again I acquiesced. Prior to sailing off to Hush - a - Bye Mountain, Scooter’s last words were, “Just stay on here and exit at Anacortes”, so I did. I drove and drove and had a grand time playing with the voice activated controls for the ipod until I had that weird feeling that I had been driving for a bit too long. I unfolded the written directions that Scooter stored in the console and read, “Exit 230, at Burlington”…. Hmmmm Burlington that sounded familiar. I saw the sign for the next exit, #232, but I didn’t know if the numbers were ascending or descending, meaning I either drove 2 exits out of my way OR I had 2 exits still to go. I slowed down and attempted to stir my passenger however it took some shouting and a major shove to rouse him from his deep slumber. His cognition returned just as we were parallel with the exit ramp at which point he shouted “Get OFF!” With a quick right turn across 3 lanes of traffic we were deposited onto a country road with Scooter dialing up our coordinates on Google Maps. After a few clicks on the ol’ blackberry we were back onto Rt. 5 now traveling south for 2 exits (whoops, sorry) but we made it to Anacortes and checked in with our whale watching crew ahead of schedule.

3:30pm we boarded our awaiting vessel and while the other passengers raced to get seats on the open top deck Scooter and I scored the two best seats onboard. We camped out on the rear of the boat under the top deck where we discovered two chairs and a table with a charming flowered cloth. There we sat, far away from the rabble on our private poop deck (the bathrooms were directly behind us) with the girth of the boat shielding us from the wind and the bright sun warming our faces. As the boat gained full cruising speed the half frozen huddled masses from the upper desk came streaming down the stairs and crammed themselves into the small interior. We still however remained outside celebrating not only our good fortune in selecting the most perfect of locations but also for knowing how to properly dress for a nautical adventure.

It was a while until we spotted 2 gray whales and by that time the temperature had dropped down into the 40’s and the sun was replaced by a low gray sky. After bidding adieu to the oceanic behemoths we continued our aquatic exploration around some craggy outcroppings where we discovered eagles, a puffin, and even some seals bobbing around. Blimey it was good fun, and so worth the 2.5 hours out at sea in the cold….I’m ready for a good dinner now, let’s bring her in! Nope, not so fast….and let’s file this one under, “Ask how long the trip is before leaving port”.

At 6pm Scooter and I were done with the cruise but the cruise was not done with us. We had hit the wall but our captain had only hit the halfway point, great. We were cold and hungry and since we both dropped Dramamine we were falling asleep on our feet. The weather forced us indoors where we appropriated some European couple’s love nest (they were outside looking at birds, or something, whatever) but we allowed them reentry upon their return. Under better circumstances we would have been very charming however neither of us were on our A game. We sat arms folded chins tucked down into our chests with our leaded eyelids closing as the freak show unfolded in front of us. Sitting apart from our fellow passengers for the previous 2.5 hours afforded us the opportunity to exist in our own private fantasy world where we were the only 2 people onboard, now however crammed in with the entire manifest – it was…um….appalling.

Onto dry land at 8:45pm, Scooter and I sped back to Seattle with hopes of a New York-y style Chinese food feast! However much to our dismay (as per usual) because of the late hour we were met with locked doors and darkened windows. So off to the pub we drove to indulge in another meat and fried potato repast.

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