Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wind up or Wind Down?

On the last day of our San Juan boat-camping trip, I couldn't decide if I was winding up or winding down. Usually by the last day- whether it's a short trip or a long vacation, I am ready to go home to my own house and my own bed. I'm ready to get the laundry done and see the dog and the sunshine that streams through my windows in the morning. This time, I was just still so excited about how much I loved being in God's creation and how nice the weather had been for our trip, that I wasn't excited to go home, nor was I disappointed. I just really felt like I was thankful for such a beautiful creation to explore and live in and love. I had these emotions going through me that made me just wish I could bottle everything up and share the contents of that bottle with the world. Every soul that has struggles and trials in their lives could open the bottle and take a little breath of what's inside and have just a little piece of beauty in their day.

There really is no way to describe what goes through you when you see an animal in the wild for the first time or look up in the sky only to see it lit up with stars so bright you'd think you could take a photo of them. I tried but I couldn't of course, nor could I snap photos of sea otters or harbor seals as they disapeared into the ocean!

Although many of the photos of our third day include a gray cloudy sky, the majority of the day was beautiful. It never rained other than a few tiny specks on the wind shield at one point. The blue skies came out and the sun warmed up the air till it was nice enough that we rolled parts of the canopy up as it was during the first 1 1/2 days of our trip.

On Saturday morning we had another hot breakfast, this time we served it using the engine cover as the table for our breakfast nook.

Bright purple star fish.

Sea Anemones on the side of the dock.

We were the only ones at the dock in the morning.

Look familiar Sallad?

We left Stuart Island shortly after breakfast Saturday morning. I cheated this time on the dirty dishes and just threw them in a bag to save for washing in the dishwasher when we got home. We wanted to make the most of our day as our time in the islands was winding to a close.

More smooth waters on our way to San Juan Island.

We came whipping around a corner only to realize that we were in the path of the ferry. We accidentally got a lot closer than you are probably supposed to, but it was fun to see the ferry so close.

We made our way to San Juan Island and docked the boat at the Port of Friday Harbor Marina. Friday Harbor is a place we have visited many times. There are shops that always have new items to browse through, coffee shops and a lavender store that sells almost anything you could think of in a lavender version, even coffee and brownies. My favorite is their beautiful lavender wreaths. There is great food, whether you are looking for a quick bite or a sit down meal. This is a real town, not just a "tourist trap" so there are also the regulars like a hardware store, toy store and grocery store. These are some of our favorite stops because you can find interesting things to look at that you would never find in the big city. If you ever walk on to the ferry and land in Friday Harbor, walk straight up the main drag (Spring Street) till you get to a car rental place and rent a car or a scooter. Go visit all the tourist attractions and bays on the island, you won't regret it. There is such beauty and so much history on the island.

When we pulled into the Friday Harbor Marina we saw something that looked familiar. This boat stayed the night at Sucia the same night we did! Here is the photo I took of it through the trees while we hiked at Sucia. What's the chance we would run into each other again?

Our boat is right near the center of this photo.

A lantern at The China Pearl restaurant. Nice lantern, but the restaurant gets horrible online reviews. I would say it's just your regular run of the mill Chinese food! After eating Chinese food for supper, we stopped twice for dessert on our way back to the boat. We visited the neatest little health food/candy/kitchen supplies store. That sounds like a weird combination, but where else can you buy gluten free supplies, chocolate of all sorts and beautiful kitchen linens all at once? I think it was called The Gourmet's Galley, but I am not sure. We left with a little brown bag of three chocolate bars. They stayed untouched until The Mr. decided to buy himself a black cherry waffle cone at the ice cream shop at the Friday Harbor Ice Cream Co. I was perfectly happy having chocolate over gluten cross-contaminated ice cream but in the hot summer months we'll see how I feel about it!

For the trip home we decided to take a route we had never taken before. We swung over to the east side of Orcas island. We took the Upright Channel and Peavine Pass before heading North towards Blaine. The water was smooth and almost glassy in areas. It was so beautiful.

Harbor seals on our way home.

A little sun and a little scruff, I love it!

Home sweet home, this is the Semiahmoo water tower near where we launch.

Need I remind you how much I love sun flare?

Cormorants and seagulls. I can't wait till all the babies hatch.


  1. What a fun trip!!! Gorgeous pics...

  2. Beautiful scenery and flowers! Thanks for sharing the beauty with those of us non-boaters!!

  3. What an exciting adventure! Friday Harbor sounds just like my kind of town, I can drop of the hubby for ice cream while I shop :) Thanks for giving us a peek at your special vacation on the water!

  4. Wow, you took some really good photos Coralee! I love them! Such beautiful weather and scenery. It's making me really want to go on vacation there! I can't wait! It's cool that you live so close that you can do day trips even.

  5. WOW, You got some awesome photos! The larger size of the pictures really makes the pictures stand out - very nice!

  6. Awesome pictures, love the big size too, it definitely enhances them! Sounds and looks like such a fun trip! Little harbor side shops sound like fun places to explore with unique things you wouldn't find together elsewhere.

  7. Looks like you two are having some fun adventures with your boat! The purple starfish was neat. Beautiful photos!

  8. We've been to the San Juan Islands only once, I believe, but it was absolutely beautiful. Love all your pictures! :)


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