"I'm not a boater" Impressions of waterfront living and messing about

Photos from the 2018 Pull and be Damned Small Boat Messabout 

I am not a boater.

Yet, I live on an island surrounded by boats and in a community whose history and present are immersed in maritime traditions and industries.

I work for the Waggoner Cruising Guide, the Bible for Northwest Boaters. I manage the online presence of the Anacortes Marine Trades Association, and I am the treasurer for the Anacortes Waterfront Alliance.

But, I am not a boater.

Unlike most of the locals in Anacortes who hike the trails on Fidalgo Island or complete the LOOP at Washington Park, I like to walk the docks at Cap Sante Marina.

Spending a day on the water whale watching with Island Adventures is a favorite excursion.

As a photographer, my favorite subject is boats, especially the large ships being built at Dakota Creek Industry, Crowley Tugs, and Washington State Ferries.

A bucket list dream for me was to tour a Washington State Ferry. That dream came true when I won a Washington State Ferry photo contest and the prize was a behind-the-scenes tour of a ferry route of my choice.

Wooden boats fascinate me.

It was a chilly November day and the crowd buzzed with anticipation for the launching of Polaris, a traditional Viking ship. I was in awe of the craftsmanship and the beauty of this amazing work of art. Later, the builder, Jay Smith, did a talk on Norwegian Boat Building. Most of what he said I did not understand, yet, I was drawn in and wanted to know more.

Each year, the Anacortes Waterfront Alliance (a.k.a. Anacortes Small Boat Center) celebrates getting out on the water with the Pull and Be Damned Messabout. They invite the public to take a ride out on small boats provided by local organizations. I watched in fascination as each boat rowed out into the bay.

I may not be a boater but with events like the Messabout, working for a company that dedicates itself to boating, and being exposed to boats on a daily basis, I certainly feel compelled to join the family. 

-Karla Locke