Grandson’s Camp Week in Port Townsend and Ludlow | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 7/29/21

You probably know grandchildren have the energy of a hummingbird, particularly if they are under 10 years old. It doesn’t seem fair but it is fun to try to keep up. 

The 8-year-old …

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Grandson’s Camp Week in Port Townsend and Ludlow | Life in Ludlow


You probably know grandchildren have the energy of a hummingbird, particularly if they are under 10 years old. It doesn’t seem fair but it is fun to try to keep up. 

The 8-year-old grandson came out last week to attend the “Beginner Sailing” camp at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend. He arrived on Sunday and the week began with Ferino’s pizza. This kid ate half on Sunday evening and the other half for Monday’s lunch. 

I took him in to Port Townsend on Monday for the half-day class and picked him up at noon after a morning of sailing experience. He was particularly pleased that he was able to ride around with counselor Willy who sailed his boat faster than anyone else. The rest of the “nautically new” either rode with each other or were able to successfully and safely navigate the “stormy” waters of Port Townsend Bay by themselves. 

After lunch BJ took him to the Beach Club pool for a swim lesson from the local expert in synchronized swimming, Lynn Hovde. I joined them later in the afternoon for a short swim as I had to save my energy for the evening’s cornhole tournament. The kid beat BJ. Then he beat me. Then he topped off the evening by beating both of us. 

Holy Toledo, put that kid to bed!

Tuesday at sailing camp was “Capsize Day” for each of the campers where they  tip the boat over and then right it from the water. I dropped him off at 9 a.m. and immediately notified BJ that the event was happening earlier than we thought it would so she needed to “saddle up” and get there to see it. They started the “capsizing” around 9:25 a.m., about 15 minutes before BJ could be expected to arrive to watch. The grandson wanted to be the first one capsizing but I asked the camp counselors to hold him back so that BJ could share in the excitement. 

This generated some frustration on the part of the grandson but when it was finally his turn, last in line, BJ arrived on the dock. 

Yes, we each took a video of him getting on one of the small sailboats the camp uses. He tipped the boat over, swam around the stern, climbed on the keel, tipped it up and climbed back in. It wasn’t a “shellback” qualifier but it was great to watch. And then, the campers all did it again, presenting another opportunity for videos. 

Just when you thought he might have had enough of the water for the day, I took him back to the Beach Club pool for a water-log inducing three and a half hours. And then, he beat us in corn hole again.

Wednesday’s camp involved sailing “almost to Whidbey Island.” 

I think not. More like Rat Island, that piece of land owned by the Navy off the tip of Indian Island just across Port Townsend Bay. 

When I picked him up he wanted to go out to lunch at The Spruce Goose or the Chimacum Café. Both cafes were full and he had another swim lesson so we headed home for lunch. Of course, not eating out is truly an affront to his grandson status since our life’s purpose is to spoil him, his brother and his two cousins. 

BJ was at the Yacht Club’s event for the women in the club whose mission that day was to taste the wine options for stocking the bar at the Wreck Room. It was tough duty for all concerned. 

BJ did come by the pool and joined me watching the grandson get water wrinkles. The evening found him and BJ in a hot checkers game. 

My usual route to Port Townsend takes me down Swansonville Road to Beaver Valley Road and then north. 

Traffic alert: The “chip/seal” project has started on Beaver Valley and the traffic is being held up. Avoid this route if you can. Thursday’s camp included two sailboat races, the first one yielding a fourth-place finish followed by a first-place finish in the second. He was the youngest in the camp and probably also the lightest. Being the youngest probably did little to help him gain superior skills however being the lightest may have given him a real edge. 

BJ picked him up from camp and took him to The Spruce Goose for lunch in another step toward our efforts to spoil him. 

Afternoon brought another trip to, oh, never mind. At least that night BJ and I both smoked him in a game of Scrabble. He said something about only being 8 years old. 

Friday’s camp had the campers sailing from the dock at the Maritime Center around Point Hudson heading for Chetzemoka Park to land and play in the park. I picked him up and headed home for a quick lunch before, yep, another swim lesson! That evening we took him to Kingston so we could join his parents for a nice dinner at the Ale House before they took him home. 

Saturday brought afternoon naps for both of us, dreaming of a “pandemic-closed” swimming pool and winning “cornhole games.”

Love a curmudgeon and have a great week. 

(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive, Port Ludlow resident and very happy camper when it’s Camp Week. Reach Ned at


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