Var and I spent the weekend (Eros Day) out at the beach cabin on Hood Canal. No internet, no TV. Really great. We had some wonderfully clear nights - Venus was stunningly bright while Orion was stunningly obvious.
We decided to make a day trip up to Port Townsend, so we passed the Trident (Shiva the Destroyer) submarine base in Bremerton on our way north. Once there, we decided to drive around a bit and get a feeling for the place, and we came upon an amazing temple: a Catholic Church called St. Mary Star of the Sea! I've never seen Mary officially referred to in such deliberately maritime fashion, though it makes sense, Port Townsend's seafaring heritage runs deep.
UPDATE: Todd Campbell reminds me through his excellent post: "I Can't Get it Out of My Head": The Maritime Signals Revisited, that 'Stella Maris' and 'Star of the Sea' are in common usage for maritime churches.
The Star of the Sea
We walked some docks, looking at boats, and I spied a trimaran (trident spear) so I wandered down to take a better look. This boat was a Corsair brand (which leads us to tales of France and Piracy that I must take up at a later date), but what caught my eye were the tourists on the dock - Destroyer's dock.
They were pointing out the underwater fauna to their kids, which happened to be giant Sea Stars. In the Pacific NW, sea stars come in the common five limbed variety, but also as giant, orange and purple hued monsters with dozens of tentacles! They are called Sunflower Sea Stars, natch.
Sea stars eat crab. In fact, they are the sworn enemy of crabbers. I've seen crabbers take sea stars and cut them up into pieces in order to help remove the threat from their prized fisheries, but I think sea stars always grow back their legs.
The crab represents the Catholic Church (see You're Invited to an Exclusive Preview Night), while the Sea Star represents Mary. Synch logic dictates: Mary will devour the church!? Perhaps she never got over Paul defiling her temple in Ephesus - hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. How clever of The Queen of Heaven to 'shyly' make her way into the church as the servant of Christ.
Curiously, the Sunflower Sea Star is eaten by the King Crab.