On December 26, 2004 my wife and I survived the 2004 Asian Tsunami. Our boat driver, who stood only 10 feet away from me, did not survive, along with 230,000 souls. To give some perspective, Blaine’s population is just under 5,000. In the 10 years since, I have asked myself, “What lessons of that day have I learned? What information can I pass on to others that might perhaps save lives?” For one thing, I would recommend waterfront hotels have life jackets with tethers in each room. Second, I would urge waterfront communities to re-evaluate their evacuation routes.
As a property owner on Drayton Harbor, it is obvious to me that a walking bridge from the east side of Semiahmoo Marina to the east side of Blaine Marina would be the safest evacuation route for those guests and residents at the end of Semiahmoo spit. There are many other social and economic benefits to such a crossing that I am sure the community is well aware of. Not only would hotel guests have easy access to the shops and restaurants in Blaine, but so would the residents of the Semiahmoo neighborhood.
Bicyclists ride through town every spring, summer and fall; think of how many more would come if such a beautiful and safe route existed. A properly-built walking bridge could inform many travelers of the rich history that this wonderful town offers, like many walking paths in downtown Vancouver do. It could also become a great landmark of this town and be seen from the border crossing, telling all those who usually just drive by to stop and enjoy this great place we call home.
I realize, as residents of Blaine, we take great pride in our name and history and show great passion in preserving it. Perhaps we could consider bridging our community together not only for our own commerce, but the safety of our guests.
I would like to take this time on behalf of Drayton Harbor Maritime (DHM) and its board of directors to say thank you to the Semiahmoo Yacht Club (SYC) for its most recent generous donation to both the historic Plover ferry and to the DHM’s Diamond NN 59 Bristol Bay sailboat, which DHM is currently restoring at Walsh Marine at the Blaine harbor.
For some years now the Semiahmoo Yacht Club has adopted the historic Plover ferry as the club’s mascot. During this time the SYC has annually donated funds dedicated to the preservation of the 70-year-old former Alaska Packers Association cannery launch.
This year’s cash donation will go to fund the carpentry work that was done replacing the ferry’s aft portside window frame and plywood siding that was damaged by dry rot fungus. Wooden boats can last a long time if proper care is given to them.
DHM is fortunate in having a partner like the Semiahmoo Yacht Club as their annual donation helps in keeping this historic Blaine icon plying the waters of Drayton Harbor and Semiahmoo Bay and hopefully for many years to come.
Further, I want to thank the SYC for their cash donation to the DNN 59 Sailboat Restoration Project.
After this 108-year-old sailboat is restored back to the way it was when new back in 1906, it may be the last fully intact museum-quality Bristol Bay sailboat left in existence out of the 8,000 that were built for the Bristol Bay, Alaska, sockeye salmon fishery.
When it gets back into the water, the sailboat will be used to teach sailing to youth and adults and take paying tourists out on a one-of-a-kind authentic working sailboat on the Salish Sea.
Lastly, many others have also donated their cash and time to this worthy project – too many to mention here. For more information about the sailboat or the Plover please visit draytonharbormaritime.org.
Captain Richard C. Sturgill,
Director, Drayton Harbor Maritime
The Celebration of Life memorial held at the Semiahmoo Inn on Sunday, December 28 for Bruce Wolf revealed just how many people his life touched. Well over 200 people (my rough estimate) were in attendance. In addition to all the personal experiences that were related by friends and relatives at the memorial, I would like to add the following as my respect for Bruce and Sandy Wolf:
I believe at some time in their life everyone ponders the question of why they’re here in the society and community in which they live. Those that have families, especially large and extended families, have part of the answer to that question clearly displayed. I believe we’re all here to responsibly use and to perpetuate the life that God has given us, and in the process of living, to share as best we can the blessings of our time, talents and treasure. Scripture emphasizes that we should share those good things, and to me, Bruce Wolf exemplified that philosophical belief.
As a doctor, Bruce increased people’s ability to have a more fulfilling life; as a parent and grandparent he shared and passed on his love and energy for life and as a stalwart member of his community he shared his talents, treasure and love for making people happy and joyful. His service to the community as a member of the city council was a natural and fitting pursuit for him, as he enjoyed making things better, and his (and Sandy’s) enthusiastic work in Blaine Fine Arts and PAC brought much talent, culture and fun to the people of Blaine.
His life has given us a good example as to how we should live, and his love for his family and his fellow man has answered a part of the question as to why we are here. The reason we’re here is to leave this world a better place than when we entered it, and Bruce has unquestionably done that. He has surely fulfilled God’s will for him, and he will be missed by many and be remembered as vividly as he lived his life.
It may interest Mr. Smith to know that his neighbors across the pond in White Rock also enjoy and feed the Anna’s hummingbirds all winter. At least three of my friends and I keep our feeders going 52 weeks a year. To keep them thawed, we use duct tape to fix hand warmers (available at the Blaine Dollar Tree) to the bowl part of the feeder.
While they don’t actually retain the heat for long, the material acts as an insulator and keeps the nectar a liquid, albeit a bit slushy, even during the coldest nights. I leave one out all night, and keep one in the house. When I rise, I heat the indoor liquid a bit in the microwave (take it out of the feeder) and then swap it with the outdoor feeder. The birds appear to enjoy that warm treat if only briefly.
Also, our local bird supply store suggests using a ratio of three, instead of four, parts water to one part sugar during the coldest temperatures. You might want to confirm this with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. My hummers seemed to appreciate the extra sucrose.
Thank you for the kiwi vine tip; I’ll try some this summer.
Some people here believe that we have plenty of jobs already at Cherry Point and we don’t need another company there, even one that is bringing with it the good jobs that working families treasure. News flash: Whatcom County is not prosperous. There are lines out the door for food banks, and families can’t afford their homes. Since when have “jobs” and “high wages” become dirty words?
Whatcom County has depended on industry since it began. We’ve had lumber mills, canneries and Georgia-Pacific, and these have been good, honorable places to work. But people who are pretty comfortable right now want to close the door to opportunities for other people to succeed. The fact is, there are very few jobs here, and too few, especially in the private sector, pay enough to support families. Instead of trying to throw every argument under the sun about a shipping terminal, why not find ways to make it work? The other Cherry Point industries do, even with more oil trains coming through our county.
The land out there is nicely preserved green space precisely because the industries have created large buffer zones, and they will continue to be maintained. Just once, I’d like to hear one of these “against everything” people offer up solutions to the problems they are dreaming up. Otherwise, we are becoming another place that bickers to no end, just like our elected officials in congress. Gridlock here is not a solution.