After a hectic 2 weeks, Tim and I are settled in at an excellent coffee shop in Bellingham, WA (The Woods Coffee – great music, coffee, local pastries and blazing fast 8mb/sec internet) ready to catch up on the blog.
It’s been a wild ride. After my birthday on August 10, Tim and I made a beeline up the Oregon and Washington coasts to make it to Port of Bellingham in time to put him on the boat Saturday morning.
On our way through, we passed by Cape Kiwanda where the 327 foot Haystack Rock, the 4th largest off-shore monilith in the world, rises out of the sea. The next day we had cheese omelets at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and spent a foggy beach day at Cannon Beach where another Haystack Rock looms over the wide beach.
The next day, Friday, we dropped by Seaside, Oregon’s equivalent to Ocean City, MD. We hadn’t planned to stay, but a warm, sunny day and huge beach volleyball tournament convinced us to change our plans.
Early early the next morning, we were back on the road. We had 5 hours to drive to get Tim to Bellingham by 11 am. To give you an idea of what silly time we woke up, we arrived to the Marina with an hour to spare. Then Tim was introduced to the boat (Just Fiddlin’), his crewmates, Captain Chris and tested in the first of three rigorous exams to earn his charter certification.
After one last lunch and kiss, he got on board and Just Fiddlin’ sailed out of the harbor trailed by the dinghy, L’il Note. It was just me and Frank for a week of Washington Coast exploration.
On the recommendation of Captain Chris, I drove down to Anacortes, the launch point of the San Juan Ferries. That night I went to an ASA (American Sailing Association) Pirate Party. I was not prepared for the enthusiasm sailors have for partying Pirate style. The party rolled through town and down to the marina where the rum and coke flowed and guitars strummed Jimmy Buffett tunes until 2 am.
Despite the late night, I woke up early to board the ferry to San Juan Island, the largest of the chain, Sunday morning. The boat was packed with folks ready to enjoy the sunny and unusually hot 85 degree temperatures. I decided to bring my bike and started off from Friday Harbor to ride around the island.
My first stop was Roche Harbor, a beautiful marina with a large sculpture garden, many gorgeous boats and an unbelievable local barbecued lamb sandwich. Stuffed, I got back on the bike and rode to Lime Kiln State Park where whale sightings are a daily occurrence. I wasn’t so lucky as to see the local orcas but it was a great place to relax and enjoy the views.
30 miles after I started, I pedaled back to Friday Harbor in time to catch the 4:50 ferry back to the mainland. I had just settled down with a book and a beer when two couples joined me. They had seen me riding around the island and wanted to say hello. In a crazy coincidence, they were both from Virginia. One couple had moved to Bellingham and the other lived in the same VA town as my best friend from high school. “If you need a doctor in Winchester, you should go see my buddy Kristin”, I joked to Alyson. “Kristin is my doctor,” she said. “We’re good friends.”
Even on a ferry in the San Juans, it’s a very small world.
After saying goodbye to my new friends, I climbed back into Frank and assessed my options. I seriously considered driving an hour north to Vancouver and camping in the city for the week. But I also had an invitation to join Dan and Rebecca with their kids Sidney and Sam south of the Olympic Penisula at Ocean Shores. The draw of good company and Dan’s outrageously tasty cooking was too much.
By Monday morning, I was setup in Ocean City State Park next to the Staeblers. It was a gray, cloudy week, but the Staeblers more than made up for the weather with energy and fun. Days were productive with work and evenings were filled with great food, Red Elvises and harmonica hula hooping.
Thursday morning, I was back in Frank for the 4 hour drive back to Bellingham to pick up Tim. It was a great week on my own, but I couldn’t wait to hear his sailing stories!
Posted from Friday Harbor, Washington, United States.