Tuesday found us at Stuart Island, my favorite island in Washington. An “off the grid” island, power for the residents here is available only through solar and generators. There have been settlers on this island since the late 1830s, and it is still a vibrant, if dispersed community. Settlers survived on wits, hard work, and the bounty of the Northwest. The lime kilns at nearby Roche Harbor supplied them with income of they cut down firewood to power the furnaces. The lime kilns paid up to one dollar per chord of chopped wood! There is a one-room school house built in the mid-1800s. We hiked up from Reid Harbor to see the school, which also houses the library and history museum. There is a new schoolhouse, built in the 1980s that serves the children these days. Though, the school is currently closed until more children move to the island.
We made our way from Stuart to Deer Harbor, Orcas Island. We drove into the quaint island village of Eastsound and had dinner there. It was a calm summer night, and everyone slept soundly. This was a good marina to practice getting the boats on and off the dock in a tight space, and everyone handled their boats like veterans.
Our second stop on Orcas the next day was to Rosario, a resort and restaurant in the old home of Robert Moran. A former mayor of Seattle and shipbuilding magnate, he created his small utopia here in the early 1920s. A magnificent home and gardens, hydroelectric power from nearby Cascade Lake, pools, trails and a 5 star restaurant! We were treated to a concert on the 1920s organ installed in the home as well.
The next morning we were rewarded with seeing Transient Orca from the T95A pod, showing off their recent calf. We rounded off the day with a flotilla favorite, Echo Bay on Sucia Island. Complete with a perfect evening stroll and a campfire with S’mores.
There couldn’t have been better weather for our trip and the crews of all vessels had a great time!