Hope Island is a sweet little spot to unwind. Completely uninhabited island with nice anchorage and few mooring buoys. we spend the night here and decompressed from the trip back down from Roche Harbor through Deception Pass. Sometimes is just nice to sit and eat crab.
I think we were quite nervous heading into Deception Pass from the stories we have heard. The extra caution paid off for us. We timed the tides down to the minute exactly right and had smooth conditions sailing through this beauty.
Our first trip to Roche Harbor on the Northwest side of San Juan Island proved to be well worth the travels. The marina is a well-run system of boats coming and going, and they certainly have the guest moorage system nailed for high capacity. We got a slip very close in on the outside with a great view of the Hotel. The whole area reminds me on a east coast summer camp meets Disneyland-from colors every night when the flag was taken down, to the whole set-up of the marina town. While there we hiked to the John S. McMillin Mausoleum-which was cool and spooky. We also spent time in the park, and of course the pool was amazing for the kids. While there we were also lucky enough to witness the eclipse and went out in the middle of the harbor in our dinghy to observe the awe.
Orcas Island's Deer Harbor quickly became a favorite for the family. Three simple reasons why. Pizza, fresh mini-doughnuts on the dock, and a swimming pool at the resort. We loved our time here, explored the beach, hiked the island and ate and drank. The marina store was close enough that Sport could run up and get more ice for our drinks by himself to earn extra dollars for ice cream. Big shouts out to the crew at the Marina for running a well organized and friendly place. We were also very excited to take the dinghy out in the harbor and drop the crab pot and come back smiling with our appetizers. Did I mention we ate really well here.deerharbor.org/
Friday Harbor was our first taste on the San Juan Islands and we loved every bite. After a very foggy trip across the straits from Port Townsend we made it! This was a first for us relying solely on navigation. We also experienced some fun current through Cattle Pass that made the trip, err interesting. Upon arriving at the marina and tying up, we immediately made happy hour happen and took some deep breaths and sat back at what we accomplished. phew, the stakes are high when you have precious cargo onboard. We found out the local San Juan County fair was going on over the weekend (love the 4H!) and decided to stay and sample what the island had to offer. While playing on the boat in the afternoon Unicorn Butterfly lost her scooter in the water below the slip. We decided to chalk it up as a loss. However when we returned from dinner we found it on the dock with a note from Friday Harbor's most famous resident Popeye (shown here in statue form). Thank you Popeye, we'll bring you some fish!
.Coming into harbor we ran across some nice 4' swells that added some adventure to our trip here, but otherwise had a great sail with nice winds and currents. We had not been north of Port Ludlow before and we were in for a treat. We rented bikes from PT Cyclery They did an excellent job outfitting our family of 4. (please look up and use this guy-they are off the main road but worth finding and are excellent, he even outfitted the kids with all-new helmets and let us keep them) and rode out to Fort Worden State Park. I will say it was a bit more hairy on the roads than expected for family biking, and if anything I would love if they built some bikes lanes/trails out here. Such a beautiful place to see by two wheels though. We did have constant stops to pick blackberries. Fort Worden has a great beach, and a quaint and fun little aquatic museum going. Totally worth seeing and spending a day. Sandy beach and there were lots of people swimming. Back in town the https://nwmaritime.org has a great facility and is totally cool to check out. Excellent food all-around. We loved Fiesta Mexican and had really good fish and chips on a tiny deck over the water at Rusty Anchor. Around the marina was beautiful for walking on the beach and seeing massive amounts of birds. On our departure day we woke up to heavy fog, and waited a few hours for it to lift...or so we thought.
2 adults, 2 children, 2 Whippets Sailing the Pacific NW seas.