We finished the weekend out in Port Townsend so that we could arrive in Victoria on a Monday. We toured Fort Worden, an absurd construction meant to house big guns to protect the Puget Sound. The guns were never used. Shortly after they were installed they were instead sent to Europe for World War I. The gun installations along the hill seem to have been designed by a military naked mole rat during a fever dream. Sections are self similar, but slowly morph to suit the landscape. After a few miles you forget where you are, and the concrete structures start to seem almost motivated, as if they served some natural purpose.

We crossed back through outer Port Townsend returning from Fort Worden and met a cast of characters. The wonderful old Victorian houses range from the immaculately painted and landscaped to the leaning back into nature variety. Deer graze happily on yards, and when you approach they assume you just want to share in their salad. Speaking of Victorian’s, we met one in full period dress including a cruel looking corset. She was the proud owner of a DeLorean and got the joke when I asked her if that is where she came from. What a town!

We met a man named Ray in his front yard as he was putting a crab pot around the remains of his fig tree. A momma deer and 2 fawns share his lawn full time and so he needs to take precautions. Ray presented us with an emotional challenge: he missed his big old hairy black cat and would love a new one to hang out with. They’d spend time indoors and out, and there would be plenty of things to smell, toy with, and kill.  Our cat Haskell would be so much happier there. We proposed the idea and Ray agreed. We knew we wanted to find a home for Haskell but hoped we wouldn’t succeed. Now here it was, perfect in every way. We both choked up. The boat would be empty without him. We couldn’t do it.  The next day we called Ray, “Sorry, we can’t bear to part with him”.  Luckily we got his machine so the call wasn’t too hard.

Haskell in the meantime has started to adjust, hanging out on deck during the day and even coming out while we are under way. He has tasted some of the rewards of his new life:  new smells, sights, crab, fish flopping around the cockpit while I try to get the hook out and so on. He had fresh sushi when I cleaned a pair of Kelp Greenling in the cockpit the other day. He still gets quiet and low when the boat rocks a lot though. Sorry dude, you are stuck with us.

We left Port Townsend Monday at 8:30 am and retraced our steps back to Dungeness Spit, and then across the strait to Victoria, B.C. We arrived at 4:30 pm, but not before U.S. Border Patrol drove out to make sure they wanted us leaving the country. Their concern is touching. I’ll have to remember to send them a fruit basket.