Silver Dollar Day
Silver Dollar Day
As his eldest daughter, and a bit of a tomboy, I was Papa’s buddy growing up. Around age 10, I served as first mate on our 20-foot sailboat, Silver Dollar. Bobbing on a buoy in front of our house, she beckoned us. An avid sailor since boyhood, Papa was happy and carefree on the water. One bright morning, a fair wind blowing and the sun sparkling off the waves on the Sound, we set sail for Vashon Island. We had promised Mom to be home by lunchtime.
After a brisk sail, we landed on a remote stretch of sand. Silver Dollar’s retractable keel enabled us to beach her. After securing the boat, we set off exploring. To our delight, all around us was a constellation of sand dollars, standing on edge through the glistening sand. As an aspiring Oceanographer, I was fascinated. Marine life was wondrous to me. I carefully chose a handful of sand dollars to take home to dry for my treasured collection.
Turning back, we realized, too late, the ebbing tide had left us high and dry. We had no phone, no food—only a jug of water. It would be many long hours until the tide turned and refloated the boat. Kind people in a home a far hike up the beach offered us cookies and use of their telephone.
Papa and I had the time of our lives that glorious day, partners in an unforgettable adventure well worth the trouble we caught upon our arrival home.
Michele Miller was raised in the Pacific Northwest, on the beach of 3-Tree Point. She lived in Alaska for 13 years, then came to her senses in 1995 and returned home to Puget Sound, now happily beginning a new chapter in Edmonds.
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