Monday, September 12, 2016

Last Visitors Aboard

Daughter Adrienne and her husband Justin moved from Denver to Seattle this summer, and we're thrilled they're nearby. After work Friday they drove to Anacortes and walked on a ferry to Friday Harbor to meet us aboard. We sat up talking past our usual bedtimes.

Saturday morning Phoenix moved to Stuart Island, and on the way into the anchorage, Justin dropped a crab pot. Crab season is closed at home, but it's open til September 30 in the San Juan Islands.

Adrienne and Justin dropped the kayaks as soon as we settled at anchor and took off to explore Reid Harbor. They reported finding a family of otters, with 5 babies, playing under a dock. 

No photos of the hike we took to the old Stuart Island schoolhouse which no longer has a teacher or students with a year-round island population of only 24.

We had a favorite meal for dinner, and this is the result. Dungeness.

And all sat in the cockpit talking til long after dark, with a beautiful moon. 

Sunday morning as we left the anchorage, Adrienne and Justin pulled the crab pot. Bingo!

Seven crabs: 3 were female or too small so went back in the water, but 4 were large male "keepers", meaning we each get one more crab feast!

Sunday morning we drove Phoenix down the west side of San Juan Island looking for whales, a common place for the resident Orca Killer Whales to hang out in summer months. Adrienne and Justin set up the hydrophone and dropped it to a depth of 100', marveling at the beautiful sounds of echolocation that could be heard occasionally, telling us whales were somewhere in the vicinity, though not seen. 

And after an hour of drifting with engines off, we were rewarded with a group of Orcas swimming near shore! We were all thrilled, and re-started the engines to head for the ferry terminal. But wait! We spotted a couple whale watching boats a mile north, motored slowly in that direction, and soon were surrounded by a couple dozen Orca whales on all sides of the boat. We could hear their loud "blows" (breaths) as they surfaced, and several came within 100 feet of the boat. Lots of smiles and gasps of wonder aboard Phoenix. 

Adrienne got better pics with her DSLR and telephoto lens than our iPhone, but we don't have any of them yet, so this will do.

Late in the afternoon, we fueled up at Friday Harbor, walked Adrienne and Justin to the ferry, and headed to Fisherman's Bay on Lopez Island to anchor out for what might be the last night of our 3-month summer journey. 

We sure enjoyed all our visitors over the last three weeks!

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