I know we said we’d go to Sucia Island on day 1, but we decided to go on to Roche Harbor over on San Juan Island. We didn’t decide until later in the day, so we really took the scenic route around the north end of Orcas Island. The scenery of course, was still gorgeous.
We left Skyline marina around 10am after cooking some scrambled eggs down in the galley for breakfast. As we passed around Fidalgo Head we saw an otter, but didn’t really get a good picture of it.
We crossed Rosario Straight and headed for Lawrence Point on Orcas Island to make the turn to the northwest towards Sucia Island. One thing that really surprised us was the “tide rips” that tried to take Southern Star for a spin when we crossed them. We guess that they are the result of different currents that were split as they go around the islands and rejoin. It’s pretty turbulent. Southern Star handled them like a pro though!
Stella kept herself quite busy every now and then taking Southern Star’s wheel, but mostly in keeping our appetite at bay. Every now and then she’d disappear below, and resurface with cheese sticks, or a sandwich, or just a refill on our ice water. We never really got to do any sailing today, the wind was either totally calm, or directly in front of us, and we’d have to do so much tacking to get where we wanted to go, it would have been after dark that we arrived. So we chose to motor today.
At one point as we approached the end of Orcas Island, we passed Turtleback Mountain. To be totally honest, it looks to me like a Volkswagon Beetle ran over the turtle as it tried to make its climb up the mountain side.
Finally, we crossed the San Juan channel, and approached San Juan Island. Going around the northern point of the island we finally entered the harbor and radioed to the harbor master for a slip to spend the night.
Roche Harbor is a charming little village, that feels like you go back in time as you cross the bridge from the docks to the town. There are a couple little stores, a few restaurants, and an old chapel that plays its bells several times a day. At the Madrona Grill, Stella had what she swears was the best quesadilla she’s ever had – stuffed with crab, cheese, and artichoke. Trust me, Stella has had her share of quesadillas, so she knows of what she speaks!
I’ll share a few pictures of Roche Harbor tomorrow. We need to relax and settle down and read a bit before bed.