Days 4 - August 14, 2009
Notable weather: Rain then partially cloudy skies
Last night it stormed. It rained and sounded like the wind was blowing.
After waking up in the morning we organized the Teardrop for the voyage and hooked the Speedster up to the trailer.
Jim (Mattís dad) is very interested in Artís Chevy Speedsters and wanted us to take some pictures of them. After taking the pictures Jim asked for and talking cars some more, Art asked me if I wanted to drive his Buick Speedster.
There was a time I would have declined such an offer. However, spending time around more people in the hobby Iíve become more comfortable test-driving other peoplesí cars. I have also come to understand such offers as the male equivalent of ladies sharing a new and wonderfully fragrant hand lotion. So, I graciously accepted the offer to drive the Buick Speedster.
My first observation was how comfortable the seats are in the car. My next observation was what a healthy rumble the straight 8 engine makes when the car is running. I was not surprised by either observation though. What did surprise me is how incredibly easy the car steered, even at low speeds, and how smoothly the clutch operates. If I did not know better, I would think the car has power steering.
Next Art offered for Matt to drive the car. Matt accepted and the two of us drove the car down the road. On the open road I was impressed with what a difference a windshield in a car makes. There is hardly any wind in your face and the ride requires much less clothing to stay warm.
After we returned, Art had Matt take me down the road in one of the Chevy Speedsters. Again, the engine had a healthy deep rumble and the lack of wind in my face because of the windshield was notable. I didnít drive that car but Matt said it steered and shifted very easily too.
Now that we test drove/rode in these luxurious Speedsters it was time for Matt and I to set out for the ferry terminal in Bellingham, Washington. Since it rained last night and the sky still looked ominous I decided to wear my rubber rain pants for the drive.
We got but a few miles down the road and a light mist started falling from the sky. Before long our rubber pants, waterproof jackets and motorcycle helmets were covered with water. However, our inside layers were dry and we were warm and cozy. It is amazing what the proper attire does for your comfort level.
Once in Fairhaven (where the Bellingham ferry terminal is actually located) we set out to find lunch, the cord to connect the iPod to the motorcycle helmets and a few other items. Lunch and the other items were easy to find. I was surprised at how difficult the iPod cord was to find. (In California, it seems they all but grow out of the ground.)
After finding all our items we went to the ferry terminal, checked in around 1:30pm. Then waited until 3pm when the ferry crew began loading the boat. While waiting we spoke to many people who were interested in our Speedster and Teardrop Trailer. We even polished the brass on the Speedster. (You know you are board when you volunteer to help polish brass.)
Weíd heard that the ferry crew loads the ferry faster than one can imagine. We learned first hand, that is not the case. I cannot think of many things Iíve experienced that proceeded slower that loading the cars on the ferry.
Eventually it was our turn to load the Speedster and Teardrop on the ferry. After the rig was loaded and we gathered the things we needed for ferry ride we proceeded to the upper decks of the ferry
We staked our claim to a patch of deck, pitched our tent and made ourselves comfortable.
Pitching a tent on the ferry, sleeping in the solarium or in one of the many lounges is a very popular thing to do on the ferry. For one, it saves money. For another, there are not enough staterooms on the ferry for all the passengers the ferry can hold.
Once the ferry was underway we were treated with beautiful scenery, which included pine tree covered islands with steep sides plunging straight into the ocean and remarkably smooth water painted with the golds, oranges and pinks of the sunís setting rays.