On May 30,
Skipper Paul Bowlby took the crew out into Sequim Bay for more
than two hours, where they practiced the techniques they’ll need
to know on the journey – turning, stopping, coming alongside
another vessel, beaching the canoe, etc. It was a beautiful day!
On June 6,
with the Hood Canal Bridge reopened, the pullers from the other
side of Puget Sound came to training at John Wayne Marina.
Because the Laxaynəm was on display in Port Townsend for the
opening of the Native Baskets exhibit (where the Tribe’s
Cultural Resource Specialist Kathy Duncan, and Basketweaver/Elder
Elaine Grinnell were hosting a demonstration of Native weaving),
Marlin was able to bring only one canoe. With too many pullers
for one canoe (which holds 11 pullers), we split up into two
groups, who each went out onto the water for a little over an
In the first
group were (from left) Paul Bowlby, Heather Johnson-Jock, Candy
Burkhardt, Marie Champagne, Kissendra Johnson, Jorene Dick,
Andrea Champagne, Unique Robinson, Jessica Johnson and Caleb
before Marlin backs the canoe into the water at the boat launch
at John Wayne Marina, he assigns jobs to pullers, including
putting people in charge of the bow and stern ropes, so that as
soon as the canoe is in the water it can be secured to the dock.
In this photo, Candy holds the stern rope as Paul and Steve
Johnson release the stern from the trailer. At the bow, Jorene
hands the rope to Andrea, while Andrea’s son Caleb poses for the
As soon as
the canoe is in the water, the skipper calls for the pullers to
board, starting at the bow. After getting in first, Jorene and
Kissendra had a moment to admire each other’s paddles.
who remained ashore (Josh Holden, Steve Johnson, Sherry
MacGregor, Betty Oppenheimer, John Bridge, Irv Mortensen,
Charlene Dick, Nikki Sather and Skipper Marlin Holden waited at
the beach by the south parking lot, where the crew would beach
the canoe at about 3:45. While we were there, we talked about
the journey – several of us (Marlin, Josh, Steve, Nikki as
pullers; Charlene, Betty and Irv as ground crew) told those who
hadn’t (John and Sherry) what it would be like. This will be
Josh’s third journey, and it’s obvious that when he’s among the
Canoe Family, he’s comfortable and happy. Here he is with a big
smile on his face!
first crew came ashore, they disembarked, and we loaded
ourselves (and our pads – Nikki brought a quilt to sit on) and
took off. The air and the water were both completely calm, and a
curious seal popped his head up several times to look at us.
From underneath, perhaps our canoe looks like a big fish! We
discussed the various names that have been suggested for this
new canoe, including the S’Klallam words for Little Quail, Great
Grandmother, Black Raven and Blackfish.
turned around in her seat and took this photo of a happy
Marlin promises to bring both canoes, so that we can begin
training in pulling together for the journey. Only 8 weeks to