"}
Outdoors

Pursuing the Plover

An oyster-friendly adventure

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

For more than a few years now, I’ve been itching to haul my tree- and rock-hugging, landlubber hide to Blaine and slosh out to sea on the second-oldest foot ferry in Washington State—the MV Plover.

Yet somehow, for one reason after another, I never quite managed to get it done. 

First came the time when unseasonably stormy midsummer weather caused us to beat a hasty retreat off the ferry dock back into the sheltering arms of Resort Semiahmoo, where we subsequently managed to spend the remainder of the afternoon sampling happy hour IPA pints and multiple platters of pomme frites.

Next came the time when, even though the sky was clear and the weather was absolutely perfect, we somehow took a wrong turn just past Ferndale and wound up planted on the beach at Point Whitehorn, being inundated by droves of great blue herons and bald eagles for hours on end instead.

Then came the incident when we made the ferry dock with 15 minutes to spare, only to find the final departure of the day was sold out, so we trucked over to Big Al’s Diner on D Street for a few restorative cheeseburgers that we devoured on the grass in Peace Arch State Park where, right beside us, a momentously massive Punjabi wedding reception featuring a live Bhangra band reverberated with such joyous, spirit-rousing rhythm that, eventually, we felt compelled to raise our arms and keep our hips swaying in anatomical solidarity all the way to dusk.    

All to say, when I recently caught wind that the MV Plover was offering special pre-season tours to the Drayton Harbor Community Oyster Farm, I made a beeline to Blaine and, on my fourth try in 15 years, finally managed to secure passage.

Nary a single snafu this time, I am happy to report. There was fantastic weather and pitch-perfect sailing conditions in Drayton Harbor that day. And not only did I manage to arrive plenty early, but the Plover also happened to be running a little late. 

Before I got to climb aboard, I ran myself through the dozen or so dockside interpretive displays water quality specialist Julie Hirsch had set up for her interactive education program, “Garden of the Salish Sea”—a hands-on curriculum designed to teach 5th-8th graders how to become lifelong stewards of our local intertidal zones.

I was bent studiously over a microscope checking out oyster innards when the blare of a foghorn announced the impending arrival of my long-elusive packet. And before I could say “cerebral ganglion,” I scampered onto the dock and ensconced myself on the Plover’s stern deck.

Due to the sunshine/sea breeze-induced stupor I succumbed to as we motored across open water, I’m not really sure exactly how long it took for us reach Beauty, a work boat anchored in the middle of Drayton Harbor where a small crew of interns from Bellingham Technical College was hard at work preparing their quarry for market and CSA (Community Supported Aquaculture) shareholders. 

But when Community Oyster Farm manager Steve Seymour welcomed us aboard with a camp stove full of exquisitely grilled Pacific Oysters on the half-shell to sample, I knew it had been worth the effort.

SVCR-0672 QMT_770x150 CW
More Outdoors...
River Dance
Bustin’ a move on Horseshoe Bend

I was visiting Glacier on important business recently when the thing that always happens to me up there happened again: I had an insatiable urge to ambulate the enveloping terrain that compelled me to initiate a protracted dash through the woods.

Ephemeral mist vapors atomized the sun…

more »
Park(ing) Day
Getting creative with concrete

In mid-July, Downtown Bellingham Partnership sent out a press release touting a Park(ing) Day event that would be happening Fri., Sept. 16 on the roof of the Commercial Street Parking Garage. Since then, they’ve decided to host the pop-up party—part of a national movement taking place the…

more »
Detour
Snohomish County’s secret side

If casino gaming or shopping malls have been your only reasons to exit the I-5 in Snohomish County, you’re missing out. Everett, Marysville, and Mukilteo offer a unique array of attractions, whether your interest is some R&R on a long strip of white sand, art, kid-focused fun or history.…

more »
Events
Today
A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

Connected by climate

10:00am

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Skagit Garage Sale

9:00am|Skagit County Fairgrounds

Oktoberfest Cruises

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Love, Loss & What I Wore

7:30pm|Heiner Auditorium

The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A back-to-school guide

8:00pm

Welcome Back Students Shows

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Community Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Lynden Community Center

Ferndale Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|Nugent's Corner

Farm Toy Show

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Skagit Valley Giant Pumpkin Festival

9:00am|Christianson's Nursery

Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Pitch

9:00am|Skagit River Park

Oyster Run Motorcycle Rally

9:00am|Anacortes

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|Peace Portal Drive

Fall Family Fun

10:00am|Glen Echo Garden

Run with the Chums

10:00am|BP Highlands

Harvest Field Day

11:00am|WSU Washington Research and Extension Center

Wild Foods

11:00am|Deming Library

Food Truck Roundup

11:00am|Civic Stadium

Making memories at Make.Shift

12:00pm

Council of the Animals

12:00pm|Larrabee State Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Museum Day Live!

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum

Family Trees

1:00pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Holly Street History Tour

1:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Fingerpainting for Grownups

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Trio of Writers at VB

2:00pm|Village Books

Salute to Satchmo

3:00pm|Sudden Valley Dance Barn

i.e. Reception

4:00pm|i.e. gallery

Artist Talk

4:00pm|Smith & Vallee Gallery

The Ferndale Challenge

5:00pm|Ferndale Senior Activity Center

World Peace Poets Read-In

5:00pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Democrats Dinner

5:30pm|Silver Reef Casino

Irish Concert and Workshop

7:00pm|Littlefield Celtic Center

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Night Hike

7:00pm|Tennant Lake Interpretive Center

CW BOB 2016 Artifacts Wine Bar
Tomorrow
Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Connected by climate

10:00am

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Love, Loss & What I Wore

7:30pm|Heiner Auditorium

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bellingham Bay Marathon

7:30am|Gooseberry Point

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Veterans Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Post 1585

Starry Night Chamber Orchestra

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

I, Angus

4:00pm|Village Books

Art of Jazz

4:00pm|BAAY Theatre

Sunday Night Fusion

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Deobrat Mishra

7:00pm|Majestic

Culture Shock

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Standup Comedy Showcase

8:30pm|The Shakedown

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Artifacts Wine Bar
Monday
A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

We Grow Market

3:00pm|Northwest Youth Services

Yoga for Outdoor Fitness

6:00pm|REI

Candidate Forum

6:30pm|PUD Building

Cooking with Sea Vegetables

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

The Happy Elf Auditions

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

see our complete calendar »

CW BOB 2016 Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Artifacts Wine Bar Swinomish 2016 Andrew Subin Northwood Steak and Crab Village Books Everybody’s Store Bellingham Farmer’s Market