Monday, 28 July 2014

Whale watching in Port Townsend, Washington

Used Puget Sound Express ( for our whale watching and it was great. Very organized, very friendly, and we felt safe and looked after. It was a beautiful, hot day, so hard to believe how cold it could get out on the water, but you definitely need a warm fleece and something waterproof. Even though you can sit inside for the journey, you'll want to get outside on deck when the whales come into view and to take your pictures.

We were fortunate to see both a humpback and her calf (you spot them by looking for the blow and then they surface, usually three times in each sequence), and the front runners of a pod of Orcas. My pictures simply don't do justice to these animals or to how close we were to them at various points. They travel in a large family group (so we learned) and I guess we saw maybe the first six to 10 of them, though we were told there are about 40 in this family.

That was Saturday's adventure, but on Sunday we got up to the farmers' market in the Upper Town area of PT, and that was pretty amazing too. An abundance of vegetables in great piles of different colors and textures as beautiful as any floral display. I spied some of my favorite things, like fennel and summer squash, which for some reason I've only ever seen in the USA, though it's just as easy to grow as zucchini (or courgettes, as they're called back in England) in the UK (I know, because I've grown them there).
There were some very nice touches, like the four different colored potatoes – red, black, brown and white – all sold together; and the mixed organic salad leaves that included nasturtium flowers.

We grazed as we went along. I had papusa, a South American thick, soft cornflour tortilla stuff with a melted white cheese and topped with a cabbage salsa and green chilli sauce. Scrumptious, but one was not quite enough, so I had a homemade bagel with cream cheese as well. This isn't the place to stick to any kind of slimming regime!

This is such a pretty area: the snow-capped Olympic Mountain range in the distance, the San Juan Islands in the sound and the Victorian houses spread up the hillside all adding to the visuals. I came for a reunion of college friends – a uniquely special group of people who are my tribe – that is, the people I am most at home with. So hard in this world to find that and I send my thanks to them for being them. And, also, for showing me their home towns so that I have a great excuse to explore more corners of the world.  So long PT! You've been wonderful beyond words.

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