Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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08/24/2004: "Perfect Alaskan Night"

Last night I had made plans to cook a crab dinner with a friend who went out crab potting over the weekend. Then, right before I left work my sailing partner DeLynn called to say she had sent me an email earlier about there being good wind in the channel and if I wanted to go out for a quick sail after work. I knew my crab pot friend would understand so I left a message for her to come out and join us, and then went down to the boat.

There was a really nice breeze and very few other boats on the water. It was almost funny though because there were buoys for crab pots everywhere and we had to do a lot of tacking to stay away from them. Also, there were silver salmon jumping out of the water, some very close to us and we were afraid one could possibly land in the boat!

Coming back in the outboard cut-out right as we were approaching my slip only 4 boat lengths away. I tried not to panic and worked to start it up again. DeLynn was on the bow of the boat, ready to jump off onto the dock once in the slip so she couldn't help me. In order to get it to start I had to crank the throttle, so when it did start it reared forward, by then the tiller had moved and we were heading off towards the shelf where I've seen other boats get stuck in the past. It was a miracle though; I was able to slow her down and get turned around just in the nick of time and eased her into the slip like a pro.

As frazzled as it made me, I felt really good that I had kept my cool and the little incident has given me even more confidence.

After sailing I popped up to my friend Jennifer's house, she lives directly above the Douglas Harbor with an excellent view of the Channel. I was hoping she wouldn't be upset that I had bailed on her at the last moment. She was just finishing up cleaning all the crab so I sat down for a glass of red wine while she made these delicious crab stuffed mushrooms that blew my mind. So I got to go sailing on a perfect clear blue skied and windy night *and* eat a fantastic meal of fresh sea food.

I was in such a good mood when I got home that I actually started painting! GASP! I am feeling better about the situation I'm in with the December solo, it just gets disconcerting when you read a book that tells you an exhibit timeline that includes "four months before the show you should begin framing your work" and it's only 3 months before the show and you haven't really started painting it yet.