Saturday, March 13, 2010

Whale watching boat makes a stop in Coupeville

The town of Coupeville welcomed the Victoria Clipper dockside today during the lunchtime hours. Today was the first of many wale watching trips which the Victoria Clipper plans on stopping in Coupeville. One hundred and one tourists disembarked the Clipper at noon and made their way to the various shops and restaraunts in Coupeville after a successful morning with at least one sighting of a Grey Whale in Saratoga Passage. The crew anticipated seeing more during the return trip after lunch. The Grey Whales have made their annual stop in the Saratoga Passage on the eastern side of Whidbey Island in search of food during their long migration.
The Victoria Clipper operates from Pier 69 in Seattle.
Their Grey Whale Watching information can be found at:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A 150 year lookout from the edge of Ebey's Prairie

For 150 years, the Ferry House has nestled into Ebey's Prairie (bottom by Mitch Richards). Old newspaper is still visible lining the walls in the upstairs of the Ferry House (top).

(From "Ancestral Walls" by Sally Hayton-Keeva)

Buffeted by storms, struck by lightning, enlarged by careless carpenters, neglected and, at last, abandoned, this 1860 structure teetered on the doorstep of its own demise. Enter the National Park Service and Nature Conservancy which, in the very nick of time, rescued the Ferry House from ruin.

Old buildings are sometimes the best - at times the only - eyewitnesses to their own history, exposing the past to the present by the testimony of their walls. Architectural elements like staircases and porches leave evidence behind when they disappear, and restoration experts search for these clues to learn what the building looked like during its evolution through time.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Early Spring at the Ferry House

It's a beautiful March day at Ebey's Landing NHR. I decided to go for a short walk this morning and take advantage of the early morning light to photograph the Ferry House and the beach at Ebey's Landing. The crisp March air quickly reminded me that I'd left my jacket in my car but the bright sun and cloudless sky hints that the day will be much warmer if I am patient. I opt to leave the jacket where it is.
There was a light frost last night, still visible where the ground is most shaded. The rest of the ground glimmers from the water droplets clinging to blades of grass along the path.
The Ferry House's white paint faded a long time ago leaving weathered gray siding that suggests the house is a natural part of the prairie, that it grew, nutured by land, just as the grove of trees that stand behind it. One hundred fifty years and several generations have passed since the house was first built to mark a new start for Col. Isaac Ebey's children. As I walk around the house, I wonder about the people that have walked through its doors or looked out its windows. I imagine Eason or Ellison Ebey driving the stage to Coupeville for travelers that had stopped at the Ferry House for the night. I picture the women and men gathering for conversation in their separate sitting rooms and guests looking out the window toward Admirality Inlet as they think about tomorrow's business in Port Townsend across the way. As the local highway, the Admirality Inlet must have been bustling with steamer traffic and other merchant vessels.
I spent about a half hour walking around the Ferry House, taking pictures and day dreaming about the past. The sound of the waves lapping the shore of Ebey's Landing, uninterrupted by traffic in the early morning make it easy to imagine I have stepped back in time. A beep from my cell phone brought me back to the present and a reminder that I have more work to do today so I started to walk back toward my car, turning back to look at the Ferry House one last time. The sun was a little higher, shining more light on the house and affirming for me that the Ferry House still has a bright future.