Saturday, July 19, 2014

San Juan and Stuart Islands

 San Juan Island is the county seat of the islands and Friday Harbour is the top tourist destination. Ferry service to the island is more frequent and all the Victoria ferries stop in Friday Harbor.Above is some classic woodies that can be chartered for an afternoon sail. Very beautiful old boats.
 This is a 60s era Skagit runabout. Lovingly cared for it appears.
We went to Stuart Island to visit with Mary Johnson. She was doing volunteer duty at the Turn Point Lighthouse museum for a week. Turn Point light is a major turn for commercial vessels taking inside passage to Alaska or going to Vancouver. Critical piece of equipment on a coast that can be very fog bound at times. Stuart has no ferry service so access by boat is the only way to arrive. Two good harbors, Reid and Prevost.

The above is the Stuart Island Treasure Chest. IT is on the path to the lighthouse. If you would care for a souvenir shirt or hat ,take it and an envelope and mail in the payment. Entirely on the honor system.
 View from Lighthouse keepers home.
 The light has been automated for a number of years. The buildings were donated to the US forest service and volunteers are trying to keep the building in good repair.
 After leaving Stuart we went to Roche  on San Juan. This is the historic Hotel Haro.
Roche Harbor was at one time the largest lime works west of the Mississippi but has been an upscale stop in the Islands for decades. Some very large power yachts hover here.I was reluctant to stop but glad I did. The sculpture garden and the mausoleum are a must see. People watching here is quite interesting as well.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Lopez Island

 WE arrived at Lopez in the San Juans in time for the 4th of July Celebration. Lopez has the best fireworks display in the islands. We put LCB into full dress ship for the holiday.
 Sunset, Fishermans Bay, Lopez Island
Turn Point on Stuart Island with Mt. Baker in the background. The weather has been superb since our arrival in the Island Group.

Astoria to the San Juans

 After leaving Portland, we caught the tide down river and over nighted on the Claskanie Slough. As we wanted  good weather to sail up the Washington Coast, meaning following wind and seas, it was raining part of the trip. The wind blows SW to South when it rains this time of year. Normal wind pattern is 15-25 NW, not great for bashing North.Above is the Astoria Megler Bridge. It is over five miles long at the mouth of the Columbia.
 Astoria, after being a forestry and fishing community for over a hundred years has being trying to reinvent itself. This is a 1913 electric trolley car that has been lovingly restored by volunteers. For $2 you can ride back and forth on the Astoria waterfront and hear the running monologue of the volunteers. Very convenient for cruisers as it stops by marina and the local grocery store 2 miles away.
 As the overhead power lines no longer exists the trolley tows a generator behind the car.
Tatoosh Island, Entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca. The trip up the coast was quite easy for this stretch of ocean. As predicted , wind was Southerly but did not have the pressure that was predicted. We motor sailed most of the way. No complaints , I  have made this trip when it was brutal, motor sailing is OK!