Seattle And Puget Sound

Get Your Rain Coat

Seattle is known for its rain and cloudy weather. If you live here, you learn to carry on in spite of it.

One of the first things to do is invest in a waterproof rain coat. A rain coat makes everything possible and you feel invincible.

Then off you go. Because you never know when sun breaks will shine through.

Especially at this time of year, with fall moving into winter, changes of sun, rain, mist, and clouds are mercurial. 

This rain coat is from an Eddie Bauer outlet store. When you're on the ferry, the wind blows your hair everywhere in the obligatory photo-op with the Seattle Space Needle in the background.

Puget Sound

In geography, a sound is a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight, and wider than a fjord; or a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land.
— Wikipedia

Seattle sits next to the large body of water known as Puget Sound.

Interesting facts from Explore The Sound:

  • Puget Sound covers 1.6 million acres and has 2,500 miles of shoreline.

  • The region’s 2.1 million acres of state-owned submerged saltwater lands are home to 211 fish species, 100 sea bird species and 13 types of marine mammals.

  • There are 68 state parks and 3 national parks, as well as wildlife refuges, national forests and other public lands that border Puget Sound.

  • The Sound helps drive $20 billion of economic activity in Washington State.

  • The Puget Sound region encompasses 12 counties populated by approximately 4.3 million people.

  • Ninety cities and towns border the Sound.

  • There are 19 major watersheds in the Puget Sound region.

Out On The Water

The deep, salt-water of Puget Sound laps at the shore of Seattle. While it's wondrous to observe from land, it's even more satisfying to be out on it.

On this day, we headed out on a private boat. Although the forecast called for rain, we were lucky to have none during our time on the water. Just another example of making your plans and seeing where they take you.

We encountered powerful waves due to a strong wind. Our boat rocked up and down and we imagined ourselves as pirates on a wild sea. 

The boat captain adeptly navigated the waves that tossed us like a bucking bronco and he maneuvered our boat into calmer waters. The sun glistened and danced across the water in happy delight.

Being In Nature

Students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can expand their connection with nature through their use of TRT® hands-on while they are outside, be it on land or water. When we access universal energy, we begin to see the inter-connections between man and animals and all that exists. 

Atoms hum together whether they be liquid, vapor or solid. The song spins out loving threads binding us in a tapestry that sparkles in the firmaments of the heavens.

Being in nature uplifts our hearts and the Seattle area provides ample opportunity to be outdoors.



The Sea Beckons

Time To Say Arrgggh!

'Tis our illustrious Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Aye, on September 19, every year, ye best be sayin' Arrgggh and Ahoy and toss in an Avast to get someone's attention!

Pirates And The Sea

When we invoke pirates, we always call forth the sea and its magical allure. Siren songs float in the waves like driftwood. Mermaids coax us into the watery depths. 

What is the swirl of tides that echoes in our pulsing veins?

As the moon pushes and pulls at the shore, does the salty water in our own bodies long to join in the dance?

Wild Sea, She Be A-Callin'

A mesmerizing whisper in the lapping of waves at the shore's edge brings a primordial recognition. Sometimes, it's as if we see something out of the corner of our eye. Or, it's a sound we thought we heard behind us, but no one is there. 

Hello, did someone call me home? 

When the sun touches the water, our hearts leap. Our pulse quickens as we stare in wonder at the sparkling diamonds of sunlight. Precious jewels available to one and all.

Primordial Call

Could we crawl back into the sea and swim with the dolphins and whales? Not as separate humans, but as sea mammals, together, smiling knowingly at one another? We could whirl through the uncharted depths of dark and light liquid and open wide our hearts until they fill the entire ocean. 

We can connect with the sea at deeper levels with our use of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®). Being near the sea, we can spend time with our TRT® hands-on, expanding our awareness of our connection to water.

At The Second Degree of TRT®, we can direct radiant energy to sea life and the water itself. Our entire planet needs support on many levels. Directing supports the weaving of wholeness of inner light for the sea.

Perhaps you're less enamored with the sea, and more intrigued with desert or mountains. Let it be your own discovery process.

Planet Water

Planet Earth should be called Planet Water given that it's much more water than earth. Our human-centric viewpoint defines everything through our own limited eyes, seldom stretching past our own awareness. But, sometimes, secrets from the sea are revealed and we wonder, might there be other perceptions of reality just as relevant as our own?

A Life At Sea

Let Talk Like A Pirate Day carry you away.

Imagine a life at sea. The briny odor of salt water swirls inside you as you sniff the air. Your sea legs know, without thinking, how to shift with the roll and swell of the waves.

It's a time when we traveled between distant lands on great, grand ships instead of winding our way, huddled together, in security lines at airports.

Just for a day, go ahead and have a Pirate Heart that loves the sea and dreams of hidden treasure.

Belaying Pins And Pirates

Belaying Pins Are A Beauteous Thing

Part of the fun of pirate festivals and days set aside to talk like a pirate is the exploration into history and discovering the details of how life had meaning in another era. 

As a reminder, an illustrious day draws nigh on 19 September. Yes, our fun-loving, swashbuckling, Talk Like A Pirate Day. Be sure to mark your calendar.

Talking like a pirate expands into wearing the clothing and accoutrements of a pirate or any other sort of character who frequented the lives of pirates and lived in the late 1700s.

A Cast Of Characters

If you attend any pirate festival you'll find pirates, of course, but also those who chased them such as The Royal Navy. Amongst the crowd will also be lurking innkeepers, barmaids, aristocracy and townsfolk. Many people research the time period and know a great deal about its details.

Choosing your time travel outfit needs care and preparation. Participants aim for authenticity. At the Northern California Pirate Festival a few years back, I discovered an important part of any pirate's outfit, the belaying pin. 

A local woodworker artisan had on display gorgeous belaying pins he had created from various woods. The photo above was from his tent at the festival. He was happy to share with me some stories behind belaying pins.

Belaying Pins On A Sailing Ship

Belaying pins are not just a bit of folklore. They are an integral part of a sailing ship as shown in this photo by Bruno Girin. They secure the many ropes of the ship's rigging which is connected to the sails. When you need to release the ropes quickly, rather than taking time to unwind them, you simply pull out the belaying pin and the ropes are set free.

A belaying pin is a device used on traditional sailing vessels to secure lines. Their function on modern vessels has been replaced by cleats, but they are still used, particularly on larger sailing ships.

A belaying pin is a solid wood or metal bar with a curved top portion and cylindrical shaft. It is inserted into a hole in a wooden pintail, which usually runs along the inside of the bulwarks (although free-standing pintails are also used). This means that if a line needs to be released in a hurry, the belaying pin can be lifted out, releasing the line.

The rope line is guided under and behind the base of the pin, then around the top in a figure-8 pattern until at least four turns are completed.

Belaying pins are also used to provide increased friction to control a line by taking a single round-turn and one or more "S" turns around the pin. Thus, it effectively belays the line. Donald Launer sings the praises of belaying pins in his article in the magazine Good Old Boat

Belaying pins are usually made from a dense hardwood that can withstand the wet and salty elements found aboard a ship at sea. In the photo below, you can see this ship taking on water. Since they are located throughout a sailing ship, belaying pins are readily accessible to sailors which leads us to their other not-so-benign uses.

Belaying Pins As Weapons

Belaying pins had numerous uses including:

As improvised weapons and means of discipline on both military and civilian ships. They were sometimes used to force conscripts onto a ship.
Belaying pins were also used in battle when other weapons were not available.

In a romantic historical novel about Christopher Columbus entitled Columbus, author Rafael Sabatini described the use of a belaying pin in battle in the hands of his character Colon.

Colon stood alone to stem the rush, armed with an iron belaying pin which he had plucked from the rack.
Colon swung the belaying pin , and the Irishman went down with a broken head...
In a moment the waist of the caravel was a scene of raging battle. Colon’s belaying pin smashed the arm of Gomez as that broken hidalgo was brandishing a knife, and it sent another of his assailants rolling in the scuppers.
Colon turned his belaying pin into a projectile, and hurled it into the mass of the assailants...
— Columbus, by Rafael Sabatini

Belaying Pins And Pirates

Pirates also made use of belaying pins as an improvised weapon. Local ordinances banned sailors from carrying swords and pistols when they came ashore. Weapons had to remain on the ship. Well, being pirates with reputations to maintain for getting into skirmishes, they hedged their bets by tucking a spare belaying pin in their belts when they went tavern hopping.

Every true pirate needs a good belaying pin. Proper etiquette indicates that you wear it tucked in your belt on your back. It's in easy reach so you can pull it out should a scuffle present itself.

Arrgggh, as they say. A little self-protection.

Treasure Island And Belaying Pins

In the 1934 movie of Treasure Island, based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, Long John Silver knocks Ben Gunn over the head with a belaying pin before escaping off the Hispaniola.

In the 1972 Treasure Island movie version, members of Long John Silver's company take over the Hispaniola after arming themselves with belaying pins and incapacitating Redruth by throwing one at his head. (Reference: The Pirate Primer, by George Choundas.)

Making History Come Alive

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), you can use TRT® when you study history or participate in Talk Like A Pirate Day. Your use of TRT® hands-on while learning puts you more in touch with past events, expanding your understanding of history. 

For those who have studied to The Second Degree of TRT®, they can direct energy to events or to specific people whom they find intriguing. It supports you to go deeper in your awareness of past and present and to get in touch with different people who have influenced our times.

For any history buff, learning the details of life in another era brings delight. It's intriguing to imagine how others have moved across time and space.

A little disclaimer: in no way does this post support using belaying pins as a weapon or for harm. This is about discovering and exploring history, not making it happen again in reality.

Could I interest you in a belaying pin, me matey?


Northern California Pirate Festival

A Pirate Festival Calls Our Name

Arrgggh, me matey, 'tis time to weigh anchor and sail into Vallejo, California.

We be joining a motley crew of pirates, swashbucklers and buccaneers. There be officers of the Royal Navy who claim to keep order 'round here and barmaids to keep us all happy with a bit of brew. We be going back in time to the high seas of piracy.

It's the Northern California Pirate Festival.

Northern California Pirate Festival

Arrgggh, me pirate matey, 'tis time fer a pirate gathering in the port of Vallejo.

Aye, ye be hearin' right. This gathering celebrates all things pirate and is an annual event in June.

This festival purports to be the largest pirate celebration in the country and 2015 marked their 9th year. Like any festival of this nature, there are food booths, shops and wares, music and entertainment and just plain relaxing. Here's my own little video.

Vallejo is an ideal venue for this event. Participants, excuse me, pirates benefit from the bay breeze that blows off the water. It cools many a pirate's brow as he lifts his tricorner hat. 

Join The Pirate Fun

If you're a fun-loving pirate who likes a good sword fight and to say argghhh, this is the place to be. You'll only feel out of place if you don't have anything of a pirate-nature hanging off of you.

Costume shops in town sell an inexpensive packaged pirate outfit like the one I bought some time back. I saw my outfit walking around on children and dads of all sizes. In this first picture you'll see me in the packaged costume. (The extras such as hat, belt, pistol and belaying pin are additional purchases.)

The downside of a mass-produced, lower-cost outfit is synthetic polyester material. Not particularly healthy to wear and it certainly doesn't breathe when you're baking under a summer sun.

Prepare Ye To Don Pirate's Clothing

You arrived without a pirate outfit? Fear not. There are vendors on the premises happy to deck you out in period clothing, albeit for a pretty farthing. 

Thanks to the plethora of vendors and booths, I updated my pirate outfit this year with a 100% cotton shirt and a gorgeous Hunter's vest. I also exchanged imitation gauntlets for leather ones.

While some complain that shopping makes the event too commercial, I find it convenient and helpful. I can't imagine it's easy to find high quality gauntlets at our local Target. 

Pirates And History

We're not talking only pirates here. The time period is the 1700s. Let's not forget those who chased after the pirates too. Members of the British Royal Navy delight us with their handsome uniforms; ladies of pleasure welcome one and all.

Costumes For Everyone

Speaking of ladies of pleasure: one thing you have to prepare yourself for is the sight of "heaving bosoms" as they are called in period writing. Some may think this is great, others not so much. Many costumes are historically accurate, including the bosom lifting corsets and laces. 

The Beginning Of My Pirate Tales

How did I even get involved in pirate fun? Check out this post Talk Like A Pirate Day where I detail the beginning of my slide into the life of a pirate. It all started innocently enough when I worked at a hospital that celebrated this illustrious day.

You may be asking what does a Pirate Festival and The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) have in common? It's all about taking the light with you wherever you go and whatever you do.

TRT® students can apply TRT® hands-on even while at the festival. Place a hand on the heart, or abdomen, while listening to music or a fellow pirate recounting a tale. Let your light shine from within your heart.

Students of The Second Degree of TRT® can also use their hands-on and can direct energy while walking about the festival grounds. As I say in my other post, "aye, even a pirate can meditate."

Of course, none of this is the least bit serious. It is about harmless fun and dancing and learning about this period of history.

Set Sails For Adventure

For those who share the love (or at least the idea) of the sea and swashbuckling, the Pirate Festival is like coming home, settling where you belong amongst your mates.

Enter back in time and sharpen up yer sword skills.

We Sail At Dawn

Arrrgggh, me fine salty dog, will ye be joinin' me and me mateys as we stroll the fine decks of our mighty, glorious ships?

What say ye?

Permission to board is granted.

Set sails for adventure!

Talk Like A Pirate Day

It's Talk Like A Pirate Day

Every year on this day, 19 September, you'll hear a cacophony of "Arrgggh!" being growled as people celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

What in the world?

Yes, as recently as 2002, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is now an "official" celebration.

Humble Beginnings Of Talk Like A Pirate Day

It all started when two guys were playing racquetball, (of all things, they weren't even sailing) in 1995. They found that they hit a better game when they used "pirate terms and slang." Thus, was born an official Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Initially, it just remained a fun game among friends. However, once a syndicated columnist got ahold of the story, the rest was, as they always say, history.

I won't try to paraphrase the whole adventure, you can check it out in their own words here.

Celebrating The Radiance Technique® – Whatever You Do

There actually is a point to this unlikely topic about talking like pirates, here in a blog where we're Celebrating The Radiance Technique®.

An important part of this celebration is bringing radiant energy to all that you do.

Getting Involved In Pirate Talk

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I was vaguely aware of Talk Like A Pirate Day, but had not given it much thought. That is, until I went to work in a hospital where the commander embraced Talk Like A Pirate Day as a way to have fun and lift morale. You could hear him calling out an "Arrggh" on occasion with a broad smile on his face as he moved about the hospital on rounds.

I was tipped over the top into the adventure when Talk Like a Pirate Day was approaching and the Hospital Commander invited hospital personnel to dress up and talk like pirates for the day (G-rated, of course).

Well, who could say no? A pirate oufit at work and a chance to practice saying "arrrgh" and "avast"? The actress in me couldn't resist.

Off I went to hunt up a pirate outfit and had wonderful fun finding doubloons and swords and tri-corner hats. Pirates have a full and rich history from those sailing days.

How delightful to learn "pirate terms" and ways of speaking from the 1700s.

As a pirate, you'll need to note that you just can't say, "It's a nice ship."

You have to say, "She be a mighty, fine, grand ship." All hyperbole is welcomed. And always speak in the present, everything is "be" – I be, you be and we be!

If in doubt, you can always refer to a pirate dictionary such as The Pirate Primer. Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues, by George Choundas.

Hospital Lightens Up With Talk Like A Pirate Day

While I thought our Pirate Day at the hospital would be pleasant, I was not prepared for the lift in the mood of everyone who was there that day. It ended up that it wasn't just a mood-lifter for hospital personnel. All the patients had a lot more smiles too.

My heart was touched by the wonder and rapt attention from the children when they saw a full costume. They couldn't tear their eyes away and always reached out to say hi, or wave, even from across the room. They loved it.

Be Ye Ready Fer A Mighty Fine Pirate Day?

Now me matey, I had to take this mighty Talk Like A Pirate Day even further in light and devised my own up-the-spiral idea of a Meditating Pirate in search of the Booty of Awakening and the Shores of Enlightenment.

Here is my Captain's Call for the great sea voyage:

Ahoy, me hearties!

Aye, I be the swashbucklin' Cap'n Leslie

of this here great, grand ship and she be the finest that e'er sailed these mighty, wild seas.

Me an' me maties, we be searchin' fer the Booty of Awakening an' our compass be set fer the Shores of Enlightenment.

I not be lyin' to yer strong heart, 'tis a long an' dangerous sailing. Arrrgh, Davy Jones Locker be near, but me crew be the finest, bravest buccaneers ye e'er seen! Yo ho!

Savvy, matey? 'Tis a mighty, sharp saber I be carryin' fer to slice through illusions and a quick, ready pistol fer to slay any demons on the harrowin' voyage to the ends of the earth.

Yaarrrrr, ye scurvy scallywag, be ye ready to weigh anchor and hoist the colours with me?

The sun be a-rising me worthies!

Avast ! Set a new course !


Talk Like A Pirate Day Song

Lots of people have loads of fun with this day dressing up or even just saying "Arrgggh" in their office at work. This song is a great description of the harmless escape into a Pirate Day while at work.

As the song says...

So hoist up the mainsils and shut down your brain cells,
they only would get in the way.  
Avast there, me hearty, we're havin' a party, it's Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Bring Light To Your Activities

Students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can bring more light to their outer activities, whatever they may be, through use of the TRT® hands-on. Use of TRT® can be on the spot, even while dressed in a pirate costume.

We can all get into the light-hearted spirit of Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Pirates Of The Caribbean – The Movies

Disney is certainly in the pirate game with the series, Pirates of the Caribbean. It's a wild cast of characters, not the least of which is Captain Jack Sparrow. Many an inspiration for pirate costumes comes from this movie series. 

There are also activities at Disney World where you can explore the themes of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Practice Your Arrgggh!

In the meantime, go forth, and growl yerself a mighty Arrgggh!

And... Remember, me matey: just like Captain Jack Sparrow in this photo, even a pirate can meditate.