Friday, December 5, 2014

Thanksgiving Eve on San Juan Island

Always look forward to a Washington State Ferry Ride, this one from Anacortes to Friday Harbor, San Juan Island

The MV Yakima was built in San Diego and Delivered in March of 1968, a mere 46 years old. 

This Surf Scooter was sporting about at the Anacortes Ferry Landing

The red pin is anacortes with all the San Juan Islands to the left of the pin, San Juan Island is on the far left.

Does not matter which Ferry you are on, as soon as you depart the dock you are in the Heaven of the PNW.

Always curious about these single family homes perched on Isolated areas in these Islands.

Is it a Summer home or year round residence?

Solar Panels and I am sure they have their own water collection system.

We are the blue dot, so you can see the route the Ferry takes through the San Juans to Friday Harbor

A little chilly out but the Foredeck is the place to enjoy all this scenery has to offer.

Few of the rocks you see have these navigational aid warnings, I guess they mark the ones that caused the most damage?

Looking South towards the Strait of San Juan De Fuca, you can just see a break in the clouds revealing the Olympic Mountain peaks

A lot of mast in the Marina at Friday Harbor

Great to have our car for the first time on San Juan Island giving us the mobility to explore the Island. We wasted no Daylight and skipped checking in at our B&B and headed North to Roche Harbor

Hands down the Most incredible Harbor and Marina to date for My Experience.

Hotel De Haro is the oldest Hotel in the State since 1886 with 20 rooms.

This is one Marina that I have been wanting to see for a very long time, I have read and heard so much about it. It is one of the primary Customs clearing  ports for vessels entering the US from all over the world. 

Roche Harbor started out as a Lime and cement plant that provided the lime for cement all the way down the West Coast of the US.


This little Black Tern just hanging out.

Roche Harbor is a small town with its own post office grocery and other shops.

Gee, what a fine place for a Texan to keep his boat!

Looking out the entrance to Roche Harbor towards Canada just a short boat ride away.

The little church that served this community for a long time. 

Wonder if this is a Kettenburg?

Half  Fall or Half Winter?

Big wide docks to accommodate whatever they have to load or unload off of boats. 

There is a flag ceremony every evening. 

This vessel is obviously preparing to have some deck work done as they are in stalling a big weather cover.
The original Lime Kilns at Roche Harbor

Hillside House was just right for a San Juan Visit, Greg cooks a mean Breakfast and  Naoni makes sure your stay is perfect.

The Admiral booked the Captains Quarters which comes complete with a Captains Hat, Who's your Captain?

The view from the deck, you can see Friday Harbor in the distance and watch the Ferrys and other  vessels in the Waterway.

I told the Admiral I just saw a Camel, She did not believe at first so I backed up and Sure enough we learn her name is Mona.

The owner of the Alpaca Farm felt sorry for Mona since Camels are herding animals so she gave them Lisa, a Alpaca, to keep Mona Company
We heard they had a Jazz band 

Perfect Island Jazz Guitar and Sax

Gotta study this

So much to choose from

So the Admiral ordered Salmon Chowder with Bacon and I the Bacon wrapped smoked Oysters

She won the Raffel and got the Bacon Cheddar Mix!

Thanksgiving Eve on San Juan Island

The California Grandparents came to Seattle to spend  Thanksgiving with Drew and Family so the Admiral thought this would give us a great opportunity to spend the weekend on San Juan Island for a getaway and to check one more things off our to do list before coming back to Texas.
We discussed taking the Victoria Clipper or a Seaplane to Friday Harbor but we wanted a car while we were there to fully explore the Island. Rental cars are available but its an island kind of thing and not like renting a car on the mainland so we decided to just take our car. It is only a 85 mile mile two hour drive to the Anacortes Ferry. The Holiday traffic was not bad and just a light rain on the way up so we left Seattle right at 12 noon to make the 2:40 Ferry and it worked out perfect for us. We got one of the last few spaces aboard the 2:40 ferry. The vacation starts as soon as you board the Ferry. Does not matter what your destination is in the PNW, the Washington State Ferries travel only some of the most beautiful waters in the US, or the world for sure.  Even though it was a bit misty at times and a little chilly, the best place is the foredeck on the ferry to get the best views as you travel through the San Juans. You can always duck back inside for a few moments to warm up and take in the view from the huge interior windows.
We only had a few hours of daylight left after arriving at Friday Harbor so we skipped checking in at our B and B and headed to the North end of the Island to visit Roach Harbor. On the way down the only road to the North end I spotted what appeared to be a Camel. I said "did you see that Camel?" The Admiral was sure I had mistaken some other creature but i backed up and sure enough there was a singular one hump camel in a pasture next to this very quaint barn and Farm home. Later we learned a lot more about Mona's History about how she was on Whidby Island and the owner could not longer care for her so she eventually found her way to San Juan Island. see
Roche Harbor has been on my to see list a very long time so I was thrilled to finally get a chance to visit. It of course should be by boat but I am thrilled to be able to drive right in just to see it. The Harbor started out as a Lime and Cement company and has a long and storied history including providing most of the lime that built up all the cities and towns along the entire West Coast. see  and,_Washington 
"The Roche Harbor marina is a designated port of entry for pleasure boats and is considered[by whom?] to be one of the best marinas in the Western United States. A customs dock occupies a section of the marina, with Customs and Border Protection agents on duty during summer months. When agents are not on duty, arriving boaters must call Customs and Border Protection from the Customs Dock.[2]
This is the reason I was so interested in seeing this marina since vessels from all over the world clear customs at this harbor so of course you would get to see lots of awesome boats of all kinds and a chance to meet word passage makers from anywhere. I read the reviews of the Harbor on Active Captain and you get a very varied response from all those who contribute to the reviews, but I guess you would expect that from a very busy port. Of course that is not what we saw since the High season is in the summer months and we are here in late fall. Visiting this Harbor had me aching again to bring Wand'rin Star right back up here and I want be able to stop thinking about that possibility at some point in the future.
As the dayligh began to disappear we headed for our car hoping to see a bit more before it got to dark but when it is overcast and you are driving through forest the light slips away quickly. We continued our drive around the "Loop" and found our way back to Friday harbor and the Hillside Bed and Breakfast, our Spot for the Thanksgiving Holidays. Noani greeted us and helped us get familiar with the accommodations and our "Captains Quarters"

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