September 10th 2017 – Sailed South as fog cleared to reveal a summer day complete with Southern Resident Orcas. As predicted the first sprinkle of rain brought the salmon who needed a scent of their natal streams and the Orcas came too. Lets hope theres enough salmon to go around. We watched as they foraged from Salmon Bank and North to False Bay. We continued to circle the island with some idyllic quiet time enjoying BBQ supper while drifting on fast current through reflected tranquility of New Channel. Another hard day in the office – All Aboard Sailing.
Sept 8, 2017 – Sailed South through islands cloaked in fog where visibility was minimal and our sense of sound heightened to the chatter of Black Oyster Catchers and the roar of Sea Lions. The sun started to break through as we explored the remote islands south of Lopez. South of Smith Island we met a Humpback whale we’ve met 2 weeks before. Our return via the kelp beds of Smith Island was special for the first time we’ve seen a horned puffin. Spectacular September sunset to round out the day.
September 7th – Strange hazy light from forest fires surrounds our area and the sun barely penetrates. Pinnipeds are hauled out to warm their body temperature. Wildlife search south to Hein Bank found large groups of Murres and active bait balls.
September 3, 2017 – A sail with friends up north into Canada on a beautiful day. We shared a picnic fit for a queen en route to Monarch Head to see the transient orca family known as T65A’s. They had been coming down all morning from Georgia Strait until we got there when they turned back from whence they came. They passed very close to Boiling Reef scaring two sea lions (the first to return after their departure end of May). Delicious BBQ, champagne and peaches on the grill to finish off the day.
August 22, 2017 – Beautiful morning sail with a visit to Yellow Island. Drop the anchor and hop aboard the skiff to go ashore. Despite the drought, there were flowers blooming. Harbor seals with their pups resting on the resting to the west while a bald eagle was perched to the east. Light winds guided us back to port.
August 21, 2017 – Half day evening cruise with overflowing beauty surrounding us. The tiniest little breeze nudged us along as we drifting along the shorelines of our favorite places. We’re finally noticing steller sea lions showing up to the north – once south of Jones Island eating what looked like a dogfish and another splashing in New Channel along the Cactus Islands. The big guys are coming back from their time up north with the ladies. Today began with an incredible solar eclipse and ended with beautiful evening light as we returned to port sipping hot apple cider.
August 21, 2017 – Cut the lines and ventured into the beginning of a giant flood tide as the moon began to align with the sun. The light of the sun began to dim with a tint similar to wearing polarized sun glasses. Temperature dropped chilling the air, bird song from the forest and a Canada Goose flew South! We drifted through San Juan Channel and weaved through rocky shorelines of extreme low tide in the wasp islands as their inhabitants of sea birds and seals welcomed back the sun.
August 20, 2017 – Leaving the harbor we heard reports of transient orcas, T65A’s, coming down from the north. Plotting a course to intercept the orcas, we took a short cut through the inter-islands, exited Obstruction Pass, and headed north checking out Peapod Rocks. Harbor porpoises played in the tide chop while harbor seals snoozed on the rocks. We hugged the Orcas Island shoreline from Lawrence Pt spotting several bald eagles before crossing over to Barnes and Clark Islands where we met the orcas. They didn’t appear interested in eating as they passed by a steller sea lion, harbor seal haul out sites, and porpoises right within their path without stopping. We travelled down Rosario Strait admiring the islands before the incoming fog socked us in. Using our senses we followed the orcas’ blows in the fog for a bit before crossing back through Peavine Pass where the fog disappeared and the sunset began. Madrone trees at Upright Head, Lopez Island, reflected beautifully in the water.
August 19th 2017. Short Sail down San Juan Channel in summer sunshine