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REAL ESTATE SPECIAL Monthly real estate pull-out section inside this edition

SOUNDER THE ISLANDS’

ARTS | Nancy Pearl shares her summer book list [3] COMMENTARY | Paying tribute to Alan Lichter [5] COMMUNITY | Upcoming Orcas Island events [11]

Serving Orcas, Lopez and San Juan County

www.islandssounder.com

WEDNESDAY, July 17, 2013  VOL. 46, NO. 29  75¢

Summer adventure

Yacht burns, sinks in Roche Harbor by SCOTT RASMUSSEN Journal editor

Marlis Sandwith/Contributed photo

Finn and Ada Sandwith enjoy a quiet moment together on a warm day at Cascade Lake.

A list of activities to keep youth occupied all summer long by CALI BAGBY Staff reporter

Sit down. Turn in your homework. Don’t talk too loud. Raise your hand. These are all tools that will help children to grow into adults who can follow rules and fit into society. As a child I remember struggling with these hard-drawn lines. What I also hated hearing during summer break was “go outside and find something to do.” The TV was turned off and I quickly found myself in the great outdoors deployed in all sorts of activities from climbing trees, spying on neighbors in make believe high drama and tip toeing across high fences with ferocious dogs below. It was in those summer adventures that I found freedom to explore and learn by experience what to do and what not to do. Now as an adult I long for the summer breaks of the past. As I recently pondered what summer vacation means for kids, I discovered the interesting notion that – contrary to popular belief – summer vacation was not merely created to satisfy agrarian America. According to historian Ken Gold, in his book

“School’s In: The History of Summer Education in American Public Schools,” the reason behind the creation of summer break in the 19th century was a belief that “too much schooling impaired a child’s and a teacher’s health.” On Orcas, this summer, kids not only get a chance to benefit from the creation of this vacation, but get to wander our pristine beaches and forests and enroll in a number of exciting community programs.

Funhouse Commons classes “How to make a Zombie Movie” classes are Monday – Friday (each session is two weeks) from 3 – 6 p.m. The cost is $300 for members and $325 for non-members. Session dates: August 5 – 16, premiere August 24, (Ages eight to 13). July 22 – Aug. 2, premiere August 10, August 19 – 30, premiere Sept. 7. (Ages 14 to 18). Cardboard Camp, July 8 -12, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., is led by artist and illustrator Brook Meinhardt.Kids will construct a variety of sculptures, self portraits and other 3D cre-

SEE KIDS, PAGE 6

The charred remains sank below the surface of the Roche Harbor Resort marina mid-evening last Wednesday, after an 85-foot luxury yacht was destroyed by a vigorous fire that broke out in an interior cabin at the front end earlier in the day. The boat is believed to have been carrying 1,600 gallons of diesel in its fuel tanks at the time, according to state ecology officials. San Juan Island Fire Department Chief Steve Marler said the location of the fire, its intensity, and the fact that the yacht had been tied-off to the dock at the rear, all contributed to the difficulty of battling the blaze. He said the department took an “extraordinary” step of sending fire fighters onto a burning boat in the early stages of combating the fire, but they had to retreat and back out as flames and the intensity of the fire swelled. “It was a problem to get there with fire hoses and a fire crew,” Marler said. “Anytime you’ve got a boat fire it’s going to be a real circuitous route to get to it. By policy we don’t go aboard a burning boat, we don’t train for that, but it seemed reasonable given the risks versus potential rewards early on.” Marler said fire fighters arrived at the scene shortly after the department received an emergency call at 10:15 a.m. Five hours later, at about 3:10 p.m., he said the fire finally fizzled out as the bow of the boat dropped below the water. What remained of the yacht, valued at $4.5 million, sank at about 6 p.m. The yacht was moored at the marina and advertised for sale by the Seattle office of Ocean Marine, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of Ocean Alexander megayachts and motoryachts. The vessel was unoccupied at the time, and the cause of the fire has yet to be

determined, Marler said. “Our greatest hope of finding a cause will be to know who was on the boat last and what was happening at the time,” he said. “My guess is that we really may never know for sure, but we might be able to figure out a plausible set of circumstances.” Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard and the state Department of Ecology were at the scene to guide pollution prevention efforts throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Employees of the resort’s marina encircled the burning boat with an oil-spill containment boom shortly after the fire broke out. Much of the area inside the boom was littered with smoke and firedcharred debris after the yacht sank. Nine members of Islands Oil-Spill Association were at the scene of the fire and were joined by another six to assist in the clean

SEE FIRE, PAGE 6

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Islands' Sounder, July 17, 2013