Celebrating the Community Boating Center
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
I once spent a thrilling summer night helping propel a tandem sea kayak through the waters of Bellingham Bay in search of the otherworldly glow of phytoplankton.
Ultimately, our post-sunset bioluminescence paddle led by staff at Fairhaven’s Community Boating Center didn’t net viewings of the lovely lights given off by marine vertebrates and invertebrates. But that was perfectly fine.
As we paddled along the waterfront and further down Chuckanut Drive to Post Point before returning to Taylor Dock and a shuttered Boulevard Park, we viewed plenty of night lights in the form of passing trains, festive fireworks and twinkling reminders of those who were safe in their homes while we sought adventures in nearby waters.
Although I’d kayaked a couple of times before and was an accomplished rower, it had been awhile since I’d been on the water in a non-motorized vessel. I likely wouldn’t have joined the flotilla if not for the assistance of the stalwart staff members, who hewed to the Community Boating Center’s mission to foster small-watercraft education, access, safe recreation and marine stewardship on Bellingham Bay.
At a 10th anniversary celebration taking place from 10am-8pm Sat., July 29 at the Harris Avenue hub, attendees can find out more not only about the array of classes, group paddles and rentals offered at the center, but also about how the grassroots nonprofit came to be a decade ago, and how you could be one of the many volunteers helping maintain boats, skippering public sales, teaching, tabling at events and serving as board and committee members.
Rather than keep the all-ages festivities limited to a nighttime gathering, events will happen throughout the day and include discounted rentals for sit-on-top kayaks, paddleboards and rowboats (inquire about getting a coupon for these). Additionally, there will be a kayaking costume contest, a wet-exit and re-entry contest, sailing experience tours, T-shirt tie-dyeing, rock painting, burgee decorating and gutter races.
At 5pm, the opening of a beer garden with liquid goods provided by Boundary Bay Brewery and Stones Throw and food by Simmering Tava will signal the end of on-the-water activity, and the event will morph into a dance party with live music.
While you’re there, consider signing up for one of the remaining bioluminescence paddles taking place Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 23 (you’ll need to register in advance, as it’s the most popular paddle the Community Boating Center offers). It’s an experience you won’t soon forget, and even if you don’t see the plankton that lights up with disturbance of the water, I can guarantee you’ll never look at Bellingham Bay the same way again.
A walk among the flowers
The road is obscure. It is little-traveled, but by and large is not in bad shape. Along the upper reaches the sides were lined with alpine wildflowers—columbine, lupine, tiger lily, paintbrush, phlox. Glacial ice gleamed blue-green across the plunging valley, its bottom clad in dark…
A high-lake adventure
The sky was dark and the moon was still glowing when our fishing guide reeled us out of camp that morning.
Even by trail crew standards, it was an early start. So early, in fact, that Uncle Don neglected to zip the side pouch on his rucksack all the way shut. That didn’t cause any…
A practice in laughter
Baby goat yoga is an internet sensation. Videos of crying kids (goat kids, that is) leaping on people doing yoga poses have been shared abundantly on Facebook lately.
But Nicole Schierberl of Wickersham’s Goat Boat Farm and yoga instructor Stormie Romero thought that baby goat yoga could…