Since Launching in Everett, Washington we have seen quite a bit. Our friends, Becky and Dun, flew out from Massachusetts and rented a 29-foot Ranger Tug and have joined us for two weeks as we cruised the San Juan Islands. So far it has been a great trip with great weather. The nights get very cool, down to about 55 degrees. The mornings tend to be cloudy and then the sun comes out and it can get to 75 degrees with no humidity. No air conditioning on this trip. Cruising out here is a bit different than the East Coast. There is no defined route like the Intracoastal on the East Coast with hundreds of islands to choose from to visit so your route can be anywhere to anyplace. The tides are extreme, hence currents can be strong, especially in narrow spots between islands. On the East Coast one could estimate how the currents run based on the tide. In The Pacific Northwest it could be running one way on one side of the island and the other way on the other side of the island. Careful planning in some cases is required and a careful watch of currents important. There are some sections that at full flood or ebb there can be rapids and reversing falls with tremendous currents of up to thirteen knots. Timing is everything! Time it wrong and what could have been an awesome ride taking in the beauty around you will be a trip from hell with a spat of terror along the way.
Some of the places visited since Everett are LaConner, Friday Harbor, Rosario, Sucia Island, Roche Harbor for 4th of July fireworks and we are now in Victoria, BC. Passage across from San Juan Island to Vancouver Island is on Harbor Straight and The Strait of Juan De Fuca, often referred to as Juan De Pukea. Depending on winds and currents it can get pretty rough out there. Our crossing was bearable. It was nice though to enter the Harbor at Victoria. We spoke to one boater at the marina who was there for a day three days back. The seas were not conducive to traveling back to San Juan so he was subjected to an extended stay. As I always say, schedules and boating are a bad mix. You can make a schedule, but expect it to fall apart somewhere along the way and then it is plan “B” after that.
Entry into Canada was fairly simple. For boaters we stop at a customs dock and there is a phone. A customs officer will ask important questions such as, where did you come from, how long will you stay, and fresh fruits or vegetables, how much alcoholic beverages (two bottles of wine limit), passport numbers and personal info and then you are usually issued a clearance number. You write this on a piece of paper and display it on your side window during your stay. Sometimes they may require you to wait before issuing the number and a customs officer will come down and inspect the boat. We were cleared without that necessity and we were off to our slip at the Victoria Harbour Slips.
The city is welcoming to tourists and the site for the docks couldn’t be in a better place. We are right in front of the Empress Hotel and across the way is the Capitol building.
In my next post I will highlight our visit to Buchart Gardens and the rest of our adventure in Victoria.
Below are some pictures of places we have visited from Everett to Victoria.
|Salish Indians running the channel in Laconner|
|Entering the channel to LaConner|
|Log Loading in LaConner|
|Typical Street view in Friday Harbor|
|Organ in Moran Mansion in Rosario. This was Robert Moran's|
pride and joy. At four o'clock every day you can attend a great
organ concert and learn about the life and history of Robert Moran
and the early years of the Pacific Northwest.
|View from the Dock in Rosario. This is a nice resort located in a mansion built by|
Robert Moran who lived in the mansion until his death and was an owner of a large ship
building company in Seattle. He is long gone, but the history lives on.
|A view of Baker Mountain while anchored out at Sucia Island|
|Waiting for the 4th of July Parade in Friday Harbor|
|Jess in her glory at the Lavender Gardens. Lavender has many uses|
and is one of the easiest plants to cultivate, requiring little water and fertilization.
|A distant shot of the farm.|
|Mile Marker zero of the Trans-Canadian Highway. Maybe another|
Adventure some day?
|I imagine these guys have a bird's eye view of the harbor.|
They are doing some refurbishment on the roof of the Empress Hotel.