Ships ahoy for old St. Nicholas

POULSBO — Kids of all ages have less than two weeks to make sure they haven’t been naughty, because Santa’s set to come to Liberty and Ne-Si-Ka bays nine days before Christmas.

Members of the Poulsbo Yacht Club will once again sail through the waters around Little Norway, Suquamish, Manzanita Bay and Agate Pass spreading holiday cheer to brave souls gathered at various points along the shoreline.

“It started out as one boat called the Christmas ship and we’re expecting about a dozen boats this year,” said PYC member Linda Lant.

The tradition began 36 years ago and has been kept alive through the efforts of volunteers including Bob and Pat Johnson, who will once again lead the parade in their boat Schottische IV, which will serve as Rudolph during the journey, Lant said.

Immediately following Rudolph will be Gif Powell in his boat, Penguin, which will have a special guest this year: Santa Claus.

“This is the fourth time we’ve done this and this will be the Johnsons’ 13th year leading the parade,” Lant said.

Friday’s parade will start at the yacht club and head northwest to the head of Liberty Bay by Waterfront Park, where the general public is invited to view the boats.

The group will then turn south, passing by Scandia, Pearson and Keyport before making another turn at Point Bolin back toward the yacht club sailing past Lemolo on the way to port.

Saturday’s parade will cover the eastern half of the North End as the convoy sails through Agate Pass before dipping down into Port Madison and out to Point Monroe. On the homeward stretch the group will pass by Suquamish and its waterfront beach before concluding the 2005 lighted boat parade.

For children wanting to let Santa know that they’ll be watching, a card or letter with a message, their names, telephone numbers, addresses and specific location where they’ll be watching should be sent to: Christmas Ships, Poulsbo Yacht Club, 18129 Fjord Dr. NE, Suite T; Poulsbo, WA 98370.

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