Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Canoe Journey - Friday's Visit

Amy had a great idea of making leis to give to our Canoe Visitors. Amy Wynn and Denyse Davis answered the call out to our club for spare blossoms! Thank you!!! (although Becky mitigated minor disappointment when she thought Denyse invited her over for "Chocolate Cosmos" - small misunderstanding!) Amy and Becky had a 2-woman lei party on Friday morning. Dan was sorry he missed out until they explained what actually took place!

We arrived back to Roche Harbor Friday evening with hot spaghetti and sauce, ready to feed a pack of, well, hungry paddlers, of course! We all took turns stirring pasta, keeping things warm while Dan and Craig watched. We worked well with our fellow Islanders from The Friends of the San Juans and really kept the dinner line moving. After dinner, we had our time to present our gifts and thanks to the steersmen of each of the 12 canoes. This was an experience our young club will embrace and carry forward: to look in the eyes of others who paddle. They paddle not for any other reason than because they were born to it. It is in them. It was an honor to have them accept our gifts and almost magical to share common ground with their traditions.

Our club thanks The Friends of the San Juans and especially Stephanie Buffum-Field for coordinating this event and inviting us to take part!

"Wait, is it boat or canoe?"

"...boatsImeanCANOES!!!" (Man, Seaton got schooled!)

The kids give the leis
Ooops, a flower fell off

Tyler Davis gives out a lei

Jordan Davis gives out a lei, too

Margie Patrick "leis one on" to Stephanie Buffum-Field of Friends

Ian Volk, Orion Seaton and Tyler Davis share the 'aloha' spirit
A pineapple for good luck

Puget Sound North gets to paddle!
(Abe Lincoln snagged us our 'invite'!)

"You guys are PULLERS! We'd already be there by now!"

Canoe Journey - Thursday's Visit

Following Thursday's practice, we went out to Roche Harbor to the Community Potluck, welcoming the Native American Canoes. It was a substantial gathering with a smorgasbord of tasty dishes, complete with traditional BBQ dogs and burgers. We began the meal with the Tribal Elders leading the group in prayer. After our bellies were full, they launched a canoe and those paddling were included by special invitation. Here's David, Seat 4, "Ama side". How Cool!

"OK everyone, act like you like each other!"

(only one good actor in the bunch)

*Ah, nuts! I'm sure I'll get the hang of this at some point, Amy!*

Monday, July 28, 2008


This is the back of my jersey. I hope everybody gets a good long look at it on the lake.
Do I look scared? The hardest part is leaving the kids' sunscreen out next to their sandals, hoping that it actually gets on them even though I'll be gone for 10 days. Or is it maybe knowing of course it will, and I'm not so indispensable after all. That must be why I found myself re-caulking the tub and sorting through doll stockings today.

If you can stand my fuzzy pictures, and if I can figure out how to load them from Stepbrother Jack's computer, I'll try chronicling. Feel free to say "Hi," "You can do it," or "Holy crap, whaddya do that for?" Just click on the comments button. The only reason I'm getting on that ferry tomorrow morning is because I told you I would. Otherwise, I'd chicken out. Oh, I guess there's another reason: paddling is fun.

Roseburg, OR
5:45am Atwell blessed my paddle
charms upon calm wood
Ben and I took turns holding it
How was practice?

Folsom, CA
flu shoots pains through arms, legs, back, neck
headache, stomachache
crashed in brother's guest bed..ahhhhhhh
(paddle under my pillow)
read Becky's entries, saw Stephanie's pictures
sweated happiness--THANK YOU!!!!!
Good luck on Huli Nite!!!
(don't forget your cameras)

Make New Friends but Keep the Old day

Ben with Denver friends Ken Lorig and Daniel Geisler

first practice on beautiful Natoma Lake
lanes perfectly straight, markers every few feet
like a lane line
water perfect; actually had to dodge swimmers
they tried me in stroke and seat 2, then seriously schooled me--I'll probably never be at the front of a boat again and am relieved about it
an inter-club canoe has six different cues for paddles up ("let her run" just never makes me want to stop...)


falling in love with these rudderless canoes
lane lines rock--wish life had those
folks are really starting to show up now
had a VERY short conversation in Italian
shook hands with a Tahitian...tried to get a picture but flustered (blush)

met up with teammates from Tricities
paddled HARD at practice (they are fast--I don't think I trained hard enough to keep up with them, but it's too late now)

out for pizza after the parade
they gave me a unity necklace

let's not go on and on about Tahiti
but they were so COOL during the parade with their chants and songs, must've been about 200--strong force, even on pavement
gives us all chills in Sacramento heat

a few more parade shots


PNW-ORCA Miss Lummi Stommish Shirley Johnson

watched New Zealand practice
was so spellbound, couldn't run for my camera
would be a waste to try and capture how they move
pop, pop, pop, pop, pop at the start for about 100m (at least six switches)
then BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! for the rest until the turns, which are like rollercoasters, then back to pop, pop, pop at the end

conversed in French with paddlers at the outlet mall
who suggested a trade for my jersey avec le beau desin
they want to give me one of theirs
you'll never guess where they're from...
I suppose you'll know when I walk up
(it's not France)

my race schedule tomorrow is:
(put an "ish" on all these times)
11am 1500m Open Women V-6
1pm 1000m Master Women V-6
4pm 500m Open Women V-1


Here's Autumn Rose 16 & Under, our first race of the day
spoke French, dreamt French
(the loudspeaker is constant French all day long)
had one German conversation

paddling???!!! Oh you want to know about paddling...
1000m Master Women V-6 (Tricities +me) earned a repechage (means "speed up again" or do-over)
first single race went well--did not come in last but
dropped out of the pack in the last 200m.
let's call that good, because no one
checked their watches

keep sending the love; it works!!

PNW's new cheer: "Don't come in last!"
no other way to describe how fast these
Tahitians, Kiwis, and New Caledonians are
you gotta see it

broke my own singles record with a 2:56
did a happy hoot dance in front of the
results postings, crowd thought
they were watching The Price is Right

(photo by Gary Bertram)
had to change my flight because
two of my races have advanced
I'll be missing you so much at Shaw
darn it (but hooray)

spoke more German today than I have since 1993,
feels like shaking a third of my brain out

Happy Birthday Darling Husband!!!
the girls tell me you're the best
and how lucky I am
you bend the curve

focussed on video today and will continue to
get as much of that as I can because it'll be
good to have a medley of champion strokes to watch
when I get back home
let me know if you want to come over; I'll make popcorn

passed on the Devil's Club necklace
to a veteran paddler with Peruvian ancestors
also descended from Tahiti's king, he said
for once the French came out like a dream
and the love circled in four kapunas' kisses

(photo by Gary Bertram)
paddled in a v-12 with all the Autumn Rose women
who chanted Lummi and we went by the call
(hupdelelele) ONE! TWO! And somewhere out in the
middle something magic happened
and we dozen were one heart
fierce with war, paddles chugging like a
freight train crossed with
a herd of wild stallions charging, water
thumping under our hooves
mightiest corporeal fusion I've ever felt
and we advanced to the finals
we'll be racing for medals on Saturday


raced 500m MW v-6 repechage
raced 1000m MW v-6 repechage
advanced to semi-finals
came in 8th place
we're gr8
fell asleep three times during dinner

one last race
my favorite
v-12 OW 500m FINAL
then I'm coming home
if you see my Mother-in-law Vonnie
give her a clap on the back
for making gluten-dairy-soy-free dinners
and holding babies every time I was at sea
she's the champion

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Journey paddlers bring sacred breath across the water. On every shore they share this breath. If we breathe it in where we too are sacred, our joined breath is gratitude: Mahalo.

Mahalo for your strength, courage, and perseverance.
Mahalo for your teamwork, traditions, and community.
Mahalo for your language, stories, and prayers.
Mahalo for your culture, healing, and wisdom.
Mahalo for your balance, understanding, and hope.
Mahalo for your hunger.
It fills us.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Paddler's Welcome

Stephanie Buffum of the Friends of the San Juans has asked whether our club would be interested in paddling alongside these eight tribal nations on their way across the Haro Strait. We've also been asked to host a meal for them on their rest day, July 25th. Be sure and let Halpern know soon what you'd like to do for these honored paddlers!!!!

Here's what's already underway through the Friends:
Welcome Dinner
Thurs. July 24th
7 p.m.
Roche Harbor
Grassy picnic Area
(near the pool)

Bring a dish
to share

SJI Welcome Dinner for Lummi Nation, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Tulalip Tribes, Sammish Indian Nation, Nooksack Nation, Suquamish Tribes traveling through our area July 24-26 to Cowichan, BC.

This event is free and open to the public!

ABOUT THE CANOE JOURNEY – The Canoe Journey is filled with ceremony symbolic of ancient times when one nation would travel into the territory of another, reminding us of the importance of the sharing of culture and respect for Indigenous people all over the world. The journeys involve visits with Indian and non native hosts.

The Journey provides an excellent setting for strength and self-reliance, balanced with interdependence in a drug free environment. The movement has grown to become a major force in positively influencing many lives. As many as 80 ocean-going canoes, from a variety of canoe cultures and nations, will make the final destination to Cowichan, B.C. Canada (near Duncan). The end of the Journey marks the beginning of the 2008 Indigenous Games in Cowichan.

WANT TO HELP? Call 378-2319
• Escort boats for Haro Strait crossing Sat. July 26th (depart Roche 8am).
• Donations - ferry tickets for ground crew travel.
• Help with meals.

Call FRIENDS of the San Juans 378-2319

Post-Parade photos by Shannon Calverly

Didya wonder how we got the boat in the water after the parade?

It actually worked! We only tried it because we owed Halpern two weeks. Now we might owe him a third.

Aloha Fourth of July!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Parade Parade

gold inside and out

bringing aloha to the islands

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pre-Parade photos by Becky Volk

It's's working!!

Yo, Dude, which way is the water?

Burgess guns it on the hills (played to Rocky's Theme) yes--we're jogging

Uni! Kahi! Out!!!