Islands and Marinas

Rosario Resort on Orcas Island

We spent Thursday morning,

the 3rd of October, getting checked out on the boat and laying out our course to Rosario Resort. We had decided to navigate strictly by piloting the first few days. There were a couple of hand held GPS’s aboard but we didn’t want to become dependent on them. Electronic devices have a way of failing just when you need them the most. Water shorts out a circuit board, batteries fail, etc. Course, time and distance work all the time. We also had our laptop connected to a GPS with Microsoft’s "Street and Trips". (While not a marine program this accurately showed our position relative to the islands on the way back.)

When we left Bellingham Harbor, at 1:15 that afternoon, it was cloudy and overcast. The normal good weather along the coast was being disrupted by unusually warm conditions inland and we were to have marginal weather the whole trip. The visibility on the water was fine and we could see well enough to find our way to Obstruction Pass at the southeast tip of Orcas Island.

The day improved as we came within sight of Rosario Resort and we got the full impact of this lovely resort when we got closer. Later that evening we enjoyed some great appetizers on the veranda off the Moran Lounge.

We liked Rosario so well we decided to go back there for our last night before returning to Bellingham.

On our 2nd day we left for Deer Harbor, also on Orcas Island, around 10 in the morning. We had wanted to go to Victoria but were unable to get a slip. As usual, Betty took the helm while I brought in the fenders. It was a short trip through Harney Channel between Orcas Island and Shaw Island, around the south side of Crane Island, then north between Crane and Reef islands.

Deer Harbor is nestled in a cove and has very nice docks. We walked up to the restaurant above the harbor only to find out it was closed for a private party that night. No problem, we had a great bacon cheese burger at the cafe/store right on the dock at the marina.

That afternoon we put the dingy in and went for a cruise. The mountings were very easy to use and, like everything else about the Exodus, it was in good shape and ran fine.

Saturday morning we left for Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. The weather was still not good so we were glad that it was another short trip. We went around the south end of Orcas Island staying north of Reef Island and headed west just south of Jones Island. From Spieden Channel we could see Roche Harbor through the channel on the east side of Pearl Island. The chart supplied by San Juan Yachting indicated this to be unsafe so we took the channel on the west side.

Roach Harbor was busy when we arrived. There was a fishing contest going on and there were a lot of extra boats around. There weren’t any spots where we could tie up to starboard with the bow in but we managed to find a spot we could back into on the starboard side where we could reach shore power.

This is truly a beautiful harbor.... and it is even more beautiful at night. We had the best meal of the trip that evening in the McMillin’s Dinning Room overlooking the harbor.

Sunday morning we were anxious to get to Friday Harbor so we could find a place to watch the Forty Niner game at 1pm and maybe the Giants game that afternoon. We left at 10:30, as soon as the weather cleared, and re-traced our course through Spieden Channel, then southeast down San Juan Channel.

The Downrigger Restaurant accommodated us with lunch and the Forty Niner game and we saw most of the Giants game at a sports bar downtown. Lunch was so good we went back to the Downrigger for dinner that night and had another great meal. Both teams won so all in all it was a fine day.

Back to main page