Posts Tagged With: Orcas Island

And the trip sadly comes to an end…

Sorry for the delay, I’m finally catching up on the last bit of our trip and posting a last few of the pictures.

We left Friday Harbor on Thursday at noon after the fog lifted. We sailed through the Upright Channel south of Shaw Island and into the East Sound of Orcas Island on our way to Rosario. The fog was still present to our south, making a very striking background against which we saw other sailboats and the Washington Ferry.

Rosario itself is a resort that used to be a mansion for the Moran family that built its fortune by starting a Seattle waterfront ship repair business that served the miners of the Yukon Gold Rush and later a became a major ship yard at the turn of the 20th century. It was sold to the Rheem family (of water heater and heat pump fame) in 1938. Supposedly the ghost of his wife still haunts the place.  In 1960 it was sold to a Seattle individual who turned it into the resort it is today.

It was clear that fall was coming on – the leaves of some of the trees were getting quite brilliant in their reds, yellows, and oranges. Sad that summer was ending, but it was quite a gorgeous show that autumn made for her entrance.  It was the first time it really got cool enough for us to want to put up the complete cockpit enclosure, so we got to try that out for the first time.  It kept it quite cozy, even when we were motoring along.

In the evenings there we enjoyed some fine meals, played some Scrabble in their lounge, and Stella watched “Young Frankenstein” on her tablet.  For some reason she has to watch that movie every time we go on vacation.  I’m not sure what that says…  🙂

What a wonderfully relaxing vacation!  We cannot wait to get back out on the water for a trip like this again.  We’re torn about whether or not to put her back in the water right away so we can sail Lake Washington on the weekends, or leave her on the trailer so we can take long weekends trailering her back up to the islands again soon!  Decisions, decisions!

I’ll close the blog for now (until our next trip) with a final few pictures.  Thanks for reading!

Categories: San Juan Islands | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Day 2 Roche Harbor

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.

Going north we had fantastic views of Mt Baker still covered with snow up high.

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.

Categories: San Juan Islands | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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