A cup of coffee, a sprinkle of rain, some last-minute provisioning and five Grand Banks cast away from the docks to begin our adventure up to British Columbia. The crew members on each boat have all made their way to Bellingham from all over the country for a shared goal: Journey to the legendary Princess Louisa Inlet. We have all been planning, packing, and preparing for a long time and as each boat pulled away from the dock the adventure became real!
As we made our way across Bellingham Bay the rain slowed, and the islands ahead welcomed us. The traditional stewards of the San Juan Islands and surrounding area were several tribes known collectively as the Coast Salish people. One of these tribes is the Lummi or Lhaq’temish (people of the sea). Today the Lummi Nation is a self-governed nation that manages 13,000 acres north of Bellingham. As we crossed Bellingham Bay and acknowledged the history of the land around us, we spied a haul out of harbor seals along with two bald eagles perched on a marker.
The cruise out to Rosario Resort took us about three hours and we were all lined up safely in our slips by early afternoon. Rosario was built by a man named Robert Moran. Moran was a shipbuilder from Seattle who acquired 7,800 acres on Orcas Island in the early 1900’s. He began construction on the Moran Mansion in 1906 and this building is a gem of architecture and history. Moran donated a large portion of his land to Washington State Parks which is now Moran State Park.
A group of us stretched our legs and took a hike up to Cascade Lake which is part of the state park. Along the way we got to enjoy many wildflowers that are in bloom. The sun came out for us as we wandered through the trees and caught glimpses of wild roses, lily pads, red Columbine, fox gloves, and even a turtle who was also enjoying the warmth of the sun. After making our way back some of us enjoyed a meal at the restaurant while others cooked dinner on board. As the sun set, we are all excited to cross the border into Canada tomorrow and see where the rest of our adventure takes us!
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 2023 Princess Louisa Flotilla.