North From Seattle

Cruising The Briefly Embattled San Juan Islands


From a cab hurtling down the West Side Highway en route to Newark Airport from New York City, I spied the looming superstructures of three giant ships. They were waiting to take on their complements of 2,000 or more passengers heading for weeklong Bermuda cruises. I was traveling to the other side of the country to join the 138-passenger Yorktown Clipper and sail along the isolated, rugged coast stretching north from Seattle to Vancouver, a journey of about 219 nautical miles.

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One-Shot War With England

It lasted for years and the outcome was decided by the Kaiser. The total casualties: one dead pig

Perhaps the best, if silliest, war this country ever fought was caused by the death of a rooting pig. Though tediously long—it persisted, with extended periods of inactivity, for nearly thirteen years—it had one outstanding virtue: the pig was its only casualty. In addition, when this war (if so it can be called) was finally terminated, the nonbelligerent belligerents settled down to a century of remarkable peace and harmony.

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