Friday, June 30, 2017

From Marathon, Boot Key Harbor to East Sound, Orcas Island

From Marathon, Boot Key Harbor to East Sound, Orcas Island

June is all about our trip to Orcas Island with our Seattle family to celebrate the summer solstice.

This is how a complimentary breakfast should be looking out on East Sound. My daughter Lia booked the trip and we stayed the first three nights at The Inn at Ships Bay with a incredible view of East Sound from a high cliff above the water. 
 Not unusual to see these type of private hang out spots.

Just sitting here thinking how blessed we have been to have the opportunity to sail in two of the most incredible corners of the US from Marathon, Boot Key Harbor to East Sound, Orcas Island

 They stayed at East Sound Suites that had the space to accommodate two young red heads. where we joined them for the remainder of the week with a central view of East Sound from the awesome community of East Sound which is the largest township on the island. Looking South off the Balcony of East Sound Suites to East Sound

Many found memories here as this was the location of our daughters' and Russell's wedding.  Orcas is the largest island in the San Juan archipelago with a population of around 3,000 in the off season swelling to around 5,000 to 6,000 during the summer months. 
 We drove about 10 minutes from East Sound to the North shore of Orcas to find the spot where we would be taking a water taxi for the day over to Sucia Island State Park.

This man made cut is the only marina on the North shore. Location is everything.

A water taxi heading out to pick up someone somewhere.

 That is Sucia Island over there, about a 15 minute ride to Fossil Bay on the south side of the island.

 We did not know it at the time but we would be returning on our last evening to this beach to watch the solstice sunset.

                                                             Another one of those spots

As I was leaving the Spot, I heard a crunch underfoot. A big colony of these rather large snails were everywhere, I tip-toed out.

 About three days a week Luke comes out around 4:30 to toss out the days cooks fresh salmon cuttings off the cliff at East Soundes Suites.

This Juvinile Eagle

                                                    And his Mama were waiting patiently
                                                      video if the Eagle

                                                 The Juvenile took the shortcut to the beach

                                                         Mama was a little more dramatic

                                             On the rocky beach below   Yummm Yummmm
Luke told us there are 12 pair of eagles on Orcas, the most of any San Juan Island, well that makes sense since Orcas is the largest of the Islands, I wonder if there is anyone throwing huge chunks of salmon off a cliff on any of the other islands?

                                                                            No Thanks!

 The next day we drove to the Southeast corner to check out Obstruction Pass State Park, by the way,
do not anchor in Buck Bay.

                                                                          Turn right here

The trail to Obstruction Pass Park Beach is about 0.6 mile through the forest, mostly downhill, then be ready for the return hike.

 That is Obstruction Island which Creates two challenging passes for vessels transiting between the very busy Rosario Strait to Harney Channel. The North pass, the one in this picture is Obstruction pass. The one on the other side of Obstuction island is Pevine Pass. Both sides can get pretty lively since there are two High, and two low tides each day. This time of year the tides can be extreme aka "Spring Tides". So that means a lot of water rushing through the passes either westerly on ebb or Easterly on flood. We passed through Pevine Pass about 12 years ago on a chartered Tayana 42. We were motoring headed East to Rosario Strait and the current must have been around 4 knots. We just sort of shot through the pass I just tried to stay in the center but the steering was minimal since we were traveling about as fast as the water was moving.A strange feeling.I was so happy to see this from shore, next time I will choose Obstruction pass as it is obviously much wider.

                                                  Timing is everything in these waters

                                That is the West entrance to the pass just beyond the point

 The next day I noticed on the Map app there was a road where I could get a closer look at Deception Pass and Island. Here we found Lieber Haven Resort...pretty funky.

                                     That is the exit from Obstruction Pass to Rosario Strait The large Motor vessel passing through seems to be managing pretty easy but the tide does not appear to be running hard at the moment, looks can be deceiving though.
 And Looking West is the opposite end of the pass, overall I will choose this over Pevine, much wider meaning more room for error!

Back to East Sound for Happy hour on the balcony.