June 25th, 2016
In the days leading up to our departure all eyes were on the weather forecast because it was promising something that can be elusive in June in the Pacific Northwest, a week of high pressure. Well, Saturday morning came and Mother Nature delivered the goods!
With Discovery, Spellbound, and Grand Adventure in tow, our lead vessel Victoria headed out of Squalicum Harbor across Bellingham Bay and up Hale Passage under clear blue skies. After just enough time to get a taste of what was in store for us over the next seven days we arrived at our first stop, Gooseberry Point and the Lummi Indian Reservation. Victoria dropped anchor and deployed her dinghy before the flotilla rafted up alongside. Captain of Victoria and flotilla leader, Tim, minded the boats while First Mate Lucas shuttled the guests ashore where our fearless leader Brian was waiting at the dock. We piled into a few vehicles for what was to be an educational and enjoyable tour of the reservation.
The first stop was at the Tribal Center, a beautiful building constructed partly out of massive cedar logs. The inside of the building is arranged to depict a reef netting site, a traditional fishing technique developed by the Lummi people. We then went to the Lummi Nation School, where we learned about some of the programs the Lummi provide for their youth. Next we were fed a delicious meal including traditionally prepared salmon and sweetbread followed by a blessing from some of the youth that are learning to carry on the traditions of their ancestors.
After that it was time to shuttle back to our boats and head across the northern part of the San Juan Islands past Matia, Sucia, Orcas and Waldron islands (to name a few) on our way to our destination for the day, Reid Harbor at Stuart Island. When we arrived we tied to mooring buoys and settled in for a relaxing evening aboard our boats, excited for the next day’s adventure.