A few years back, we arrived one Friday night at Silverdale at the head of Dyes Inlet. It’s usually not a very busy place, but the docks were packed and a fair number of boats were at anchor. We dropped the hook away from the crowds a bit, nearer to the head, and settled in for the evening. About 9pm, a tug with a barge arrived from the south. The tug captain slowly picked through the anchored boats and eventually stopped near the head a few hundred yards away from our boat. We couldn’t figure out why a tug would be arriving at night like that and what it would be doing at the head. No docks or industry were there and there just didn’t seem to be any good reason for it.
We got our answer at 10pm. Explosions erupted on the barge and light filled the sky. It was a fireworks barge and we had the best seat in the house. We’d arrived at the beginning of Whaling Days. The annual event includes an always-impressive fireworks display, a street fair with live entertainment, and outrigger canoe races. It’s a real family affair—with kids and adults of all ages. On a hot summer day, the warmer waters of Dyes Inlet are ideal for swimming. The festival atmosphere extends to the docks—they’re packed and everyone is having a good time. Each year we’ve been, several dozen cigarette boats roared in on Saturday as part of a poker run and roared back out again just as quickly. We could hear their engines for miles.