Baited by rumors of a famed Farmers Market, we are reeled in and landed at the Port of Olympia where we make our ultimate southing in Puget’s sound.
We find a berth with a view on the seawall at Swantown Marina named by a muddled ornithologist for the large numbers of geese resident in the port.
Within our prospect is Weyerhaeuser’s vast log marshalling yard, defying the reality that many trees yet stand in Washington State.
Olympia’s working waterfront, legislated at the State Capitol Building which looms over all, is a port brokering many large things; this per the Port of Olympia Compendia.
Exporting logs and lumber to China for construction; cattle, specifically heifers for Vietnam’s child nutrition goal of one glass of milk per day; military and humanitarian apparatus wherever merited; automobiles to Asia; heavy steel pipes, sheets and wire coils in unimaginable sizes to tiny countries.
Importing gold ore from Europe for processing into jewelry of unimaginable sizes, windmill blades from Brazil, automobiles from Asia, ceramic proppant from China for fracking, and premium organic grain from Turkey to feed heifers before export to Vietnam.
All we can see from our berth is logs.
Logging aboard Jupiter is also serious business, and many types of logs are fastidiously maintained.
Our traditional Ships Log is a manuscript register of each day’s navigation including times, distances, locations, notes on sightings or shenanigans encountered. We collect basic meteorological observations which appear routinely dull except when they are not. Occasionally fascinating, sometimes even alarming.
We record trip times, averages, fuel consumption, as well as water rendered fresh by our reverse osmosis plant, and remaining boat fuel. Faults with equipment and service performed on board is fully documented.
There has only been one day – June 20th, 2020, during Jupiter’s eight year chronicle when everything aboard this vessel performed perfectly. We are normally satisfied to quote our sage boat broker “many thing work!”
Judgement of harbors and anchorages is freely opined, and crew confessions are carefully crafted.
Our two Caterpillar C12 engines utilize helm instruments that display current trip and lifetime data. Presently our port engine trip log is unavailable and the totals screen reports corrupted or missing information.
We photograph everything, boat parts, whole boats, mariners with bad haircuts, destinations and locations, sunrise and storms, seafoods and latitudes. Our cloud storage now holds over 15,000 images from Jupiter’s wanderings. A rare few appear in Jupiter’s Way
This blog is our choice way, since 2018, of recording and sharing some of the adventures of Jupiter and her crew. At year’s end the blog is bound into a printed volume, and shelved for accumulation of dust.
Aside from the shipboard journey, blogging is our chief form of entertainment, particularly the amusement of one another with ideas that cannot be published.
A small but powerful satellite communicator quietly occupies a corner window of the pilot house and provides a record of Jupiter’s track and a real time look at current location at the Find Jupiter tab on the website.
This little handheld can send and receive texts, acquire marine weather reports, and transmit an SOS.
Navionics App Recordings
A chart record of each day’s voyage is made using a Navionics Marine App on an iPad, and this image is saved as a dated photo providing an overall perspective.
It is simple to select a navigational or sonar chart and to add a satellite overlay or any annotations.
Knitting The Weather Log
A project underway this summer aims to register the weather and sea conditions during the cruise. At day’s end three rows are woven with color and texture coded yarns to log the sea state, sky state and precipitation.
This project was inspired by women in occupied territory during WWII who sat in train stations, appearing innocent, but observing enemy troop movements and knitting coded patterns into scarves. These were ultimately sent to MI6 for decoding.
Sleeping Like a Log
Of all this information, only the smallest fraction ever finds a function, but to the keen and curious mariner it seems pertinent and necessary. When all that is done, we sleep well… like logs.
Our fresh manila clams were harvested in Little Skookum Inlet in the nether reaches of South Puget Sound on the morning that we met them, and sold to us by their growers at the Olympia Farmers’ Market.
Soak clams in fresh water for about half an hour to stimulate them to void any sand and grit from their shells.
Add two cups of chicken stock to a large pot, and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile chop an abundance of garlic and some sweet onion, and sauté until soft in butter. Deglaze the pan with wine and reduce by half, then add chicken stock and cream, and season well with black pepper, hot pepper flakes and white miso. Hold at a very low simmer until clams are cooked.
Lift clams out of fresh water by hand, leaving behind all silt, and transfer into pot with stock. Cover and keep stock at sufficient boil to produce ample steam until all clam shells have opened. Pour some of the resulting liquid into the cream sauce and stir to combine.
Place opened clams into warm bowls and generously ladle sauce over them. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve with wedges of lime and warm bread.