March 15, 2003

Mark has been looking for work as a respiratory therapist in Washington State. While he is looking we are staying in motels in Bellingham, Washington. We have been to sailing school and taken two courses over several days each and we have chartered a sailboat and paid a captain to go with us sailing in the San Juan Islands. Mark and I went to buy the provisions. He is very good at planning meals and shopping. We are outfitted for the coldest of weather or the hottest of weather. Right now the weather is swinging from one extreme to another. We have been very very cold while sailing and we have also sailed in our swim suits and been hot.
Sailing is immensely fun. We have overnighted in the marinas and seen some wonderful sunset flag ceremonies and beautiful little marina villages. We were the first to sight a pod of whales who came up and played near our boat. Our captain called one of his whale watching boat captain buddies and immediately we were surrounded by a large floatila of boats of all sizes and descriptions with tourists crowed on board. Some of the more colorful whale watching boats were full of Asian tourists in yellow raincoats. There is a whale research boat docked on one of the islands and it has a very interesting history. Our meals have been great. I bought some huge shrimp. We had fresh oysters picked from the banks of an island here and we caught some crabs in crab cages set out overnight. Mark cooked the seafood and it was gormet. We have practiced our man overboard drills and we are pretty good at rescue right now. When we got back to Bellingham I took Mark to a Rotary Club lunch. There are several clubs in Bellingham and they all meet at the same place for lunch and the cost is only 10 dollars a person for a beautiful buffet lunch. Bellingham is a very beautiful college town with a small town friendly atmosphere...kind of like what Austin Texas used to be. Mark ended up getting a job at a hospital in Everett, Washington.