Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Off To Stuart Islands - Orcas!

Roche Harbor to Stuart Island (Reid Harbor) Anchorage

Distance traveled:  22.7 miles

On departure from Roche Harbor, we decided to take the Mosquito Pass shortcut to Haro Strait, travel a few miles south to Lime Kiln Point, and try again to find some whales.

Lime Kiln lighthouse and the white "splotch" on the shoreline, which is Lime.

After giving up, finding no whales, we turned around to head north to our anchorage for the night, and WHAM! whales appeared! It's hard to see in the photo below, but there's a whale just behind the bow pulpit (anchor) on the front of Bob and Sue Shaffer's boat. It was not more then 40' off their beam!

For 30 minutes we were swarmed, closer than we've ever seen Orca Whales to our boat. There was at least one male with a very large dorsal fin and more than a half dozen females.

Every time we turned around another whale surfaced close by.

What a thrill.

Finally the whales headed south (with commercial whale watching boats in hot pursuit) and we headed north to Stuart Island. Bob Shaffer wants to learn EVERYTHING, so declined our invitation to raft up their boat with ours on one anchor, saying he wanted to learn how to anchor his own boat. So we dropped our anchor, jumped on board their boat, and 30 minutes later Bob and Sue had successfully anchored their own boat, asking one question after another to understand the "why" behind every step. Woo hoo!

A short hike across the island took us to Prevost Harbor on the north side where other boats were anchored or tied to a State Park dock in a beatuiful setting.

It was Susan and Bob's turn to host dinner at anchor, and we had top-of-the-line Rib-eye and Filet Mignon steaks to end another terrific day.

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