A New Story for Felicity Ann

Jim and I were going on a road trip. We tossed around a lot of different choices, The Sunshine Coast, the San Juan Islands, Hornby, Quadra. Then, the night before we decided to go to Washington State. We booked a ferry from Victoria,  and spent two nights in Sequim.

On the second day  we made a 2-hour trip to the northwestern tip of Washington State to see Cape Flattery. We had been told it was a beautiful park and set out to find it and explore. We took our time heading out and at one point we pulled over to let a line of cars pass. We ended up pulling over right where there was a garage sale sign. I was immediately game for it, but Jim not so much.

We went anyways and found a beautiful little home and acreage. Not much to buy, but the  owners  were very interesting. They had met in Victoria, BC; she was from Port Alberni and he was in the Navy. We had a nice chat with them and they mentioned we should stop at Freshwater Bay before we went back to the highway.

It was a beautiful bay and we ended up having lunch there. We talked to a young fellow on the beach who had just come in from kayaking. In our idle chit chat we learned that he was going to school at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding. I asked if him people still built wooden boats, in which he replied that  it wasn’t so much building new boats but refitting old boats.

Days later we were in Port Townsend, a lovely little town that we planned to stay only one night and ended up spending four. On our third morning , I was responding to a family email going around and mentioned we were in Port Townsend. My sister, Felicity Ann nicknamed “Filly”,  questioned why I was in Port Townsend. She responded with another  email saying that the boat she was named after, the FELICITY ANN was in Port Townsend.

My first thought was that why would she know that the boat she was named after was in Port Townsend? What sort of person keeps tabs on the boat she was named after?

Jim and I decided to see if we could find this boat. We went to the big marina in Port Townsend (the Boat Haven) and asked around. Half a dozen guys had no idea what we talking about until one fellow said that the boat was at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock. What the heck, here goes another road trip.

We ended up finding the place at lunchtime. There weren’t too many people around at that time, so it took a while to find someone to ask where the FELICITY ANN was. Jim ended up connecting with Betsy Davis, the executive director of the Boat School. She was a really nice women and super excited to hear about somebody being named after the boat. She gave us tons of info and wanted us to meet some of the women working on the boat.

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Tina H. in front of FELICITY ANN, the boat her sister was named after.

Like I said it was lunchtime, so I had my picture taken with the boat and we waited for the students to come back to class. Well, lo and behold who walks up to the boat shop but a familiar looking figure. It turns out to be Matt, the fellow we met at Freshwater Bay who  is working on restoring the Felicity Ann. I had to tell him the whole story so he wouldn’t think we were stalking him. Talk about serendipity.

All around, everyone was very nice and Betsy was super excited to meet Felicity Ann and wondered if she would like to go out sailing on the boat once she was finished.

So, my sister Felicity Ann, for your birthday gift, I ordered the book, “My Ship is So Small”, Ann Davison’s story of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in her mighty ship FELICITY ANN. Thanks for the adventure. We loved it and all the people and stories that went along with it.

-Tina Heuser

After this connection, Tina’s sister Felicity Ann rallied her friends and family in making an amazing contribution to the restoration of the historic boat. We couldn’t have asked for a better story or stranger act of coincidence. We are very excited to be connected to a family who is willing to go the extra mile in winding the past, present, and future together.

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