Saturday, September 6, 2014

Perfect Day in the San Juan Islands

Distance traveled: 20.1 miles

Travel time: 3 hrs, 6 mins

Son Ryan and daughter-in-law Jaime arrived by ferry in Friday Harbor. We had the luckiest of days by every measure, beginning with perfect weather: sunny, warm and calm. Mt. Baker was visible from Friday Harbor and most of the way north.


Ryan took the helm for most of the journey north, relaxed and comfortable at the wheel. Lots of boats were on the water, and shortly after leaving Friday Harbor Ryan spotted an eagle, and then dolphins just in front of our bow. Speiden Island looking the way it always looks.


Close to Roche Harbor, we were having such a great ride that the decision was made to continue around the north end of the island, round Henry Island and approach through Mosquito Pass. WOW!  Over the next hour Ryan kept the boat mostly in idle or neutral as we watched Orca whales passing through. About a dozen, in 3 different directions, so repeated calls of “Orca at 3:00” or “Orca at 6:00” kept each other spinning to see them all.


We were just off Kellett Point on Henry Island when the closest whales passed among half a dozen smaller fishing boats, and Bob and Cathryn were wildly snapping photo after photo.


The males have huge dorsal fins.


Roche Harbour was hosting at least 100 Ranger Tugs attending a weekend rendezvous, so all their guest slips were full. They asked us to “Med tie” (stern in on a face dock, with other boats tied directly to your boat on either side), but we declined based on having a single engine boat and dinghy on the swim step at the stern, so we wouldn’t be able to get on/off the boat. So they found us a great side-tie on the main promenade leaving us with a nice open water view and no immediate neighbors. Lucky again.

Belatedly we celebrated both Ryan and Jaime’s August birthdays with dinner at McMillan’s. Food, scenery and company were good, and we sat on the aft deck with a glass of wine until 10pm. Boating at its’ best!


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