The NW Explorations’ dock was abuzz this morning as six boats cast off lines and got underway. This two-week exploration of the Puget Sound wonderland – from Bellingham to the South Sound, and everywhere in between- showcases the best of Western Washington’s deep history, natural splendor, and maritime heritage. The Puget Sound flotilla provides the unique opportunity to develop camaraderie and enhance boating skills, all while enjoying a quintessential Northwest experience. Cheers to the adventures ahead!
Countless hours from dedicated staff and technical experts have been poured into these boats. All helping to ensure that the boats run smoothly and that each trip is well planned and executed. Each of our guests have made their preparations as well. Charts have been scoured, provisions purchased, and arrangements made so that this trip can occur. After many months of anticipation, guests and crew alike were ready to depart!
We got underway on a true Pacific Northwest morning, clouds hung low over Lummi Island and a light rain blowing off the straits christened the flotilla as we headed out through Bellingham Bay. The marine layer was no match for the summer sun, and before the lead boat had Samish Island off its port beam the skies were blue and the decks were heating up. Steep forested islands surrounded us, and as we passed from Bellingham Bay into Padilla Bay the flotilla got their first glimpse of the snow-capped Cascade range and glistening Olympic Mountains.
As we traveled, we saw a bevy of Bald eagles, curious harbor seals, cormorants and a multitude of seabirds. It was clear a school of forage fish were in the bay, and we were bearing witness to quite a feast!
We exited Padilla Bay south via the Swinomish Channel, a narrow manmade canal where each captain demonstrated excellent ship-handling, arriving in La Conner on a warm and breezy afternoon. The town of La Conner sits along the channel and is a popular stop for local farm-to-table cuisine, antiquing, and local artistry. Each crew spent some time getting situated dockside before heading into town to explore. I think we’ll all sleep well after a great shakedown, dreaming of the voyages to come!
P.S. Missed this year’s Princess Louisa Flotilla? Not to worry, there’s always next year! Send us an email to reserve your spot on our 2022 Princess Louisa Flotilla.