Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wedding fun

Just so you know it's not all homeless and bar ministry, I did a wedding on Orcas Island in the San Juans this weekend.

The bride was marrying a Lebanese guy.

After the rehearsal at the church, we had to get back to Shaw Island, a short channel hop away, for the rehearsal dinner and the various homes where guests were lodged.

Well, it was going to take two trips. It would be quicker just to put a few extra people aboard, didn't seem too bad. It was a familiar passage to our skipper, about a 15 minute trip one way.

So we all crammed into our craft -- 11 adults, 3 kids. Did I mention the groom couldn't swim? I sat in the aft with a 40 pound box of baklava on my lap.

About 2/3 of the way home, Homeland Security forces accosted us from out of nowhere in the pitch black. We were ordered to stay on the dock, had to give our personal information, explain what we were doing and why. The two Lebanese guys with us had to produce ID and talk with the officers. It was pretty scary; funny; worrisome. What will happen? We don't know. The boat was overloaded, there were not enough floatation devices for the number of people, and evidently the owner had not renewed his boat registration for the year (this same boat has been delivering mail in the islands for awhile). We're praying for a warning for the skipper; lesson has been learned without a fine, I would think.

Meanwhile I was unsucessful in convincing the Coast Guard that baklava is a floatation device.



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