Yesterday morning before leaving Patos Island we took the dinghy out and decided to do a lap around the outside. It took us one hour, exactly, and the sun was out for a bit of it.
That's the edge of Sucia Island on the right (and Mount Baker in the far distance):
As we rounded the far end of the island, there was a cove FILLED with harbor seals...hundreds of them! They came off the beach quickly and headed out to greet us, looking curious as if they'd never seen our kind before (easy to imagine here in the off season when we were the only people around for miles).
Many of them followed us for a while (could this have been an escort "out of town" perhaps?) Here they are, behind us as we head for the lighthouse (Mt. Baker in the distance, looking pretty huge):
We made it back to the boat with about 20 or so seals still on our tail watching as we went from the dinghy to Airship, snarfing and mouth breathing as they poked their heads out of the water, swimming alongside. Pretty cute!
We left Patos Island and decided to go check out Jones Island (home of the tiny tame deer). We looked for the humpbacks from yesterday, but it was calm and there were only seals and porpoises out:
We came upon a bunch of porpoises acting a little more crazy and aggressive than the others we'd been seeing...they just seemed much more active...feeding or whatever they were doing. When I blew up one of the shots I took, I could see some white on one of them, so we think these maybe were Dall's Porpoises. They have similar markings to the Orcas:
It's too hard to see in this photo, but maybe zoomed in you can see the bit of white:
We did a quick recon at the north cove on Jones Island, and thought we might return there for the night (on one of the mooring buoys), but decided to head over to Deer Harbor on Orcas where we might grab some lunch first.
We docked and walked around a little bit, but learned that the one restaurant there was only open for dinner. By that time, we'd gotten the "go out for a meal" bug and so we headed to Friday Harbor with the idea of going back to a place we'd been ages ago that was really good: the Backdoor Kitchen. We got a spot in the marina for the night, called the restaurant to see if they had availability for dinner tonight for two, and learned via their recording that they are closed this week, starting on October 31st. Well, we're on a roll!
Our backup plan turned out great, however. We had a very good meal at The Place, in Friday Harbor, right near the ferry landing.
On our way to dinner:
We had cocktails (a manhattan and a sazerac), shared some crab and shrimp potstickers and a caesar salad as starters, and our main courses were a True Cod special, grilled with artichoke hearts, capers, tomatoes, white wine sauce and veggies, and a black bean ravioli with sauteed shrimp. Both dishes were delicious and it was fun to have a window seat at the marina and have someone else cooking and doing the dishes.