Monday, July 14, 2003

Garrison Bay

The Captain decided that we needed to get the heck out of dodge before the next low tide since we were in the mud on the previous low tide. So we got up bright and early and headed out of the snakey channel and turned south to the San Juan channel. The current was flowing fast and furious by the time we hit cattle point and we were picking up about 3 kts of southbound current. The plan was to turn west around the bottom of San Juan Island, but the rips were a little strong so we cruised out into the Straits of San Juan de Fucca (Puka!). My theory was that the ebb was going to last another hour or so and we would ride the flood back North into Haro straight. So we motored around until we were completely encased in a thick wall of fog ... good thing I got the radar working a couple of weeks before. So we flicked on the radar and about and hour later the fog lifted up and the sun came out. Then the wind picked up and we hoisted the sales. We managed to get some pretty good speed out of Kalliope, but still drifted back a mile while we were sailing. What the heck it was a nice day and we were having fun. As we were drifting around we managed to come upon a large school of boats floating around checking out the water ... they were not actually looking at the water, but at the Orcas (killer whales) that were playing in the water. We had about 20 or 30 of them jumping out of the water. Performance on demand, almost like we were at sea world. This was by far the best whale watching experience that we have ever had. After that we headed north and fired up the Iron Pig and headed North up to Garrison Bay.
Garrison Bay is on the west side of San Juan Island and the sight of the British camp during the joint British and American occupation of the San Juan Islands. Everything came to a head when one of the Americans shot a British pig that was rooting up his potatoes crop. The whole episode became known as the Pig War. Currently Garrison Bay is home of a small National Park that has managed to preserve some of the original buildings.

The next day we took a bus to Friday Harbor so that I could pick up some parts that I had ordered from my buddies at West Marine. Friday Harbor is an pretty touristy place. Not nearly as cool as Orcas.

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