Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

We’ve jostled in Sydney’s tight, choppy anchorage a stone’s throw from the Opera House to see the best fireworks in the world. Heckuva a New Year’s goodbye bash for our boat, s/v Journey in 2017.

How does that compare to the small town of St. Helen Oregon’s celebration and fireworks? 

Flags up and down the main drags of St. Helens for the 4th of July.

US flags up and down the streets. A go-cart. A skateboarder. 

Not much traffic for this St. Helens skateboarder to worry about.

The town and all the town folk done up in a swirl of red, white and blue.

St. Helens town square “birthday cake;” 243 years for the US, 130 for the town.

A newly minted US citizen and marina neighbor playing the bagpipes. 

Robin kicked off the early eve, piping aboard his boat.
His US citizenship was in part spurred by his desire to buy his sailboat.

Fireworks a few hundred yards from our boat. Amidst the parties, ultimately the two of us most loved a burger on the barbie, corn on the cob , ice cream for dessert and oohing and ahhing at the fireworks together aboard the good ship Serendipity.

St. Helens Marina gussied up for the 4th of July, too. The marina was hoppin’ for the holiday.

Sydney’s fireworks are world-beater iconic; brag-book material. Yet I’ll count St. Helens small town 4th of July celebration as the sweeter memory, from and for the heart.

On a more serious note…. 
Given our travels outside and across the US, I spent a good chunk of time around our nation’s birthday celebration pondering a “report card” of our country’s “life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness.” I found it fascinating.

If you’re interested, lemme know and I’ll make it a future post. 

For now, though, I just wanted to share a little piece of small town Americana joy. Happy birthday, US! While the actual designated day for celebrating our nation’s independence is past, its impact is still writ large inside and beyond our borders.

However you celebrate your nation’s birthday — enjoy! 

Location Location
We spent July 4th at St. Helen’s Marina. We are currently back on the hook off of Sauvies Island, N45 47.473 W122 47.199, about 5 miles further inland on the Columbia River. There’s a broad, long sandy beach a short dinghy ride away and we have it largely to ourselves.