After a restful night’s sleep, we woke to a cool, foggy morning in Rosario Marina. Our departure was set for 8am in order to make it back to Bellingham with plenty of time to unload and prepare the boats for their next round of charter guests. We enjoyed our last cup of coffee and breakfast on board and then took off for our final cruise back to Bellingham.
The fog created a mysterious atmosphere out on the water. It was hard to tell where the sea stopped and the sky began. The water was glassy, and occasionally seal heads and diving birds broke the surface. Otherwise, the morning was quiet except for the blasts of foghorns. Tim led the flotilla through the thick cloud, navigating with Radar and AIS signaling.
By the time we crossed Rosario Strait, the fog had cleared and we were once again cruising with blue skies and sunshine overhead. A panorama of mountains was visible as we entered Bellingham Bay. Double Crested Cormorants nested on rocks in the foreground; the rocks have turned white from their guano. The faster boats in our flotilla sped ahead to Bellingham, and by 10:30am or so we were all back at the docks.
It was a pleasure to cruise with everyone on the San Juan Flotilla. I was impressed at how each crew grew more confident in their abilities, and how much they seemed to learn from their time on the water. The positive, upbeat attitudes that they brought along truly made it a great trip. I don’t think that this is the last we will see of any of them. After a taste of the flotilla life, many in the group are already making plans to join us next year for the Desolation Sound and Alaska’s Mother Goose adventures.
After a week of soaking in the beauty of the San Juan Islands, we reluctantly head back to reality. What a wonderful way to get out into the beauty of nature, and to experience the dynamic waters of the Salish Sea. The encounter we had with the Southern Resident Orca Whales is something that none of us will soon forget. The peaceful evenings and mornings at anchor away from technology and the stresses of daily life provided a great way to recharge and reconnect with what is really important in life. Thanks to everyone for a great week out on the water!