Perhaps the excitement of a new boat went to my head just a bit as I began making plans for a journey to the far reaches of the earth in our lovely little Dowitcher. I apologize if anyone got their hopes up due to my zeal. Revisions to the journey will include a voyage down the coastline of Chuckanut Bay, a circumnavigation of Lake Fazon and a crossing of Semiahmoo Bay.
She’s a 10.5′ rowboat with a dagger board and a decent sized lateen rig, so we’re expecting her to be a bit sporty. The sail is reminiscent of the ancient Arab dhows while the hull is Whitehall-esque, something from New York harbor a hundred years ago (except built of fiberglass, so it will probably still be here a hundred years from now). We see ourselves melding these two disparate forms in our northwest waters and venturing out to crab pots in the bay and hauling home fresh crustacean, and maybe even trolling for salmon on a nice broad reach if we can get a nice head of steam.
Falls and winters will find us rowing the shallow bays and the inland lakes in pursuit of pintails and mallards. If she proves maneuverable enough, we may even feel bold enough to row her down the mighty Nooksack river, casting dry flies for trout and drifting streamers for steelhead.
So her diminutive size may keep us from rounding the great capes, but it will allow us to ply many waters that would be totally inaccessible to a more oceangoing vessel. And while the deep blue waters are grand, the great pulse of life truly lies in the mudflats. Hence her name Dowitcher. The swamps, coastlines, and shallow waters are home to these beautiful shorebirds, and these are the places that bring us joy, where the land and the waters meet.
Editor’s note: While I am usually very much against boat names with puns and wordplay, this one was simply too good to pass up.
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