My Boat is Famous

Drifter in the 1979 issue of "Sailing" magazine

A fellow yelled at me from the Percival Landing Boardwalk the other day, saying his name was Chris and that I was on his boat.

He introduced himself  and it turns out his father bought Drifter new in 1977 when she was still a sleek racer.  He had recognized the lettering of her name on the transom which has stayed exactly the same for 32 years.  This all jogged MY memory to the pile of papers I got when I picked up the boat from Jim.  Amongst rotten manuals and yellow charts was a letter from the Canadian government dated sometime in 1978.  It was a response from the Canucks to a certain Charlie Snyder who wanted to know about operating procedures for his brand new VHF marine radio in Canadian waters, where he hoped to travel with his brand new baby (Chris!) and wife. Trippy.

All these years later, Chris’ wife was also along for this venture and they’re expecting a baby of their own. Chris was super stoked to see the letter, his dad lives in town and I suggested he take it for show and tell.

And then he told me the coolest thing of all.  In 1979 Sailing Magazine came to Olympia to cover the Toliva Shoal Race, an annual event still going on to this day at the mouth of Bud Bay and near reaches.  It happens in February, the month I moved aboard.  I’ll be straight with you, February 2009 was not a high point in this Skipper’s life.  But February 1979 was when Drifter spread her sails and rocketed to international superstardom…… or just had her picture featured in a magazine.  The stuff of legend, all cataloged on the Toliva Shoal office website to this day for your viewing pleasure.

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