2018 San Juan Flotilla Day 4: Victoria to Stuart Island | NW Explorations


2018 San Juan Flotilla Day 4: Victoria to Stuart Island

We woke to another glorious day in Victoria.  Our trip through the Strait of Juan de Fuca gave us great views of the Olympic mountain range.  We traveled in calm seas and enjoyed the vibrant colors of the day, from the deep blue of the water to the snowcapped mountains to the grassy green and yellowish islands.

As we entered Cattle Pass, we stopped to look at a large sea lion haul out.  These Stellar sea lions are the largest of the sea lions and full-grown males can be over 2,000 lbs!  For their size, they looked pretty docile as they dozed in the sunshine.  Cormorants were nested on the cliff sides and eagles sat above us surveying the water for fish.

Our crews expertly navigated the busy harbor town of Friday Harbor, cleared customs and headed on our way to find a peaceful anchorage.  On our way north to Stuart Island we cruised along Speiden Island in hopes of seeing exotic creatures there.  Speiden Island was a game reserve for a brief time and some of the exotic herds of animals still live there.  We had great luck seeing harbor seals, eagles and even a few of the exotic deer!

Once nestled down in Reid harbor, we went our separate ways for the evening, each of us enjoying the beautiful anchorage exactly the way we wanted.  Marshall tried his hand at fishing, and other crews prepared delicious meals and enjoyed the sunshine and each others’ company.  Barb, Mike, and Joe all came on a trek with me to see the Stuart Island schoolhouse, museum and light house.

Reid harbor is a truly peaceful and quiet anchorage.  Even though there were many boats in the harbor, it felt like we had the place to ourselves.  We enjoyed watching the sunset reflect in the still water of the bay and continued watching as the sky darkened and the first stars appeared.  What a relaxing way to end the day.

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