We’re back in the USA! It’s less than three hours from Sidney to Friday Harbor so we barely had time to warm up the radars before we pulled in to the US Customs dock. Along the way we passed Spieden Island, which is privately owned. Years ago, the then owner imported a variety of exotic African antelopes to the island, and they were still there today. There were some wild-looking horns on some of the beasts, but despite being about as far from the Serengeti as they could be, they all seemed pretty happy to be grazing their breakfast on this beautiful summer day. It was another sign that we had emerged from the wilderness and were back to town.
Friday Harbor was hopping! Big boats, little boats, enormous ferries, high-speed catamarans, float planes, dinner cruises, whale-watchers; you name it and it was happening on the water. We were so grateful that the folks back at the NW Explorations office had made reservations for us.
Friday Harbor was hopping on shore, too. Bob and Cathy from Patos went to the whale museum, while the Discovery crew went in search of fresh blueberries. They found them, too, and we were all very glad they did. They showed up with the Discovery crew on little custard tarts for our four o’clock departure meeting. It is amazing to think that all these great people came together for the first time only three weeks ago, and that we have traveled the entire length of the British Columbia Coast together. It seems shocking to have a departure meeting, but tomorrow we’re back home to Bellingham at the end of our journey. The trip has gone so fast!
Just at the head of the dock was a set of native-inspired carvings, one of which seemed an echo of our trip. The pole was a cougar and a woman reaching out to each other across a copper dome representing the world they share. It has been our great pleasure to share the nature of the inside passage this trip and it brought us fun, friendship, and learning. Not a bad way to spend three weeks!
A final naturalist note for the trip: a house sparrow in front of the U.S. Customs building in Friday Harbor became the 60th bird species recorded on this trip. We saw about 10% of all the breeding birds in North America. I hereby declare this to be a Mother Goose record, and challenge all future NW Explorations naturalists to see if they can find more!