On Sunday (the 27th) we headed north to the boat with our friends Jake & Patti (visiting from San Diego) to do a little cruising in the San Juan Islands. The weather was supposed to be great except for Monday (25-35 kt winds, wind waves 5-7 feet), so we left Portland early on Sunday morning so we'd have enough time on Sunday to cruise from Anacortes over to Rosario Resort on Orcas Island. We could happily wait out Monday's wind by staying put at Rosario through Tuesday, kickin' it at the spa.
Rosario mansion from the water:
Airship in its slip at the Rosario Marina:
The outdoor pool, viewed from the Mansion museum:
View into the bay:
This was a great first stop. We all got some great chill time with gorgeous scenery and good food and conversation. Here's what the windy Monday looked like in our little bay:
On Tuesday morning all was calm again in the channel, so we headed out (after a second round of delicious eggs benedict in the Mansion Restaurant). The weather was gorgeous, with a nice clear view of Mt. Baker:
We stopped at Fossil Bay on Sucia Island for a little hike:
Jake and Patti on Sucia:
From Sucia we headed over to Patos Island where we spent Tuesday night. We had just enough time to take the dinghy ashore and do a quick hike out to the lighthouse for some sunset photos.
For dinner we grilled some halibut and I made a bernaise sauce with fresh crab meat and spooned that over the top of the fish, then topped it with some skinny asparagus spears. It turned out great!
We were the only ones on the island at Patos. Again.
Sunrise on Wednesday, New Year's Eve (Orcas Island off in the distance):
We had some breakfast and then got underway for a cruise over to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island where we planned to spend New Year's Eve. We kept an eye out for orcas and humpbacks, but had no luck.
New spot at Roche Harbor:
Looking back at the marina from town (we're over there on the right somewhere):
We grabbed a bite for lunch at the Lime Kiln Cafe, wandered around town a bit, and then hiked up through the graveyeard to the kooky mausoleum again. (See previous entry about Roche Harbor and the Mausoleum here.)
New Year's Eve dinner was up here at McMillin's.
The restaurant was serving a prix fixe 5-course menu for New Year's Eve and it was delicious. We started with a cocktail and a duck potsticker, then came the house salad, then a Maine lobster tail, then Chateaubriand. We finished with some house-made chocolate truffles and headed back to the boat. We opened a bottle of champagne and played cards and laughed until midnight. Great evening!
In the morning we headed out for a nice day of cruising back to Anacortes. We went south around the west side of San Juan Island, looking for orcas and just generally enjoying the spectacular weather. Seriously! The weather!
The water was calm, the sky was a beautiful mix of clouds and sun, and you could see for miles.
A tanker with two tugs on our way back into port at Anacortes. (Do It Right. No Smoking):
Here's our route…each day is a different color. Anacortes to Rosario (black), Rosario to Sucia and then Patos (orange), Patos to Roche Harbor (neon green), Roche Harbor back to Anacortes (turqoise):
We got back to Portland late last night, and took our friends to the airport this morning. It was such a fun trip, and a great visit overall!
Happy New Year everyone!