Welcome to the West Side

It has only been 3 days since the Gato Verde set off from the Friday Harbor Labs, but time flies when you are traveling on the water. In just this short period of time the Beam Reach class has become very familiar with the West Side of San Juan Island, especially our new home away from home, Snug Harbor. Snug Harbor is a small harbor on the West Side of the island, north of both Lime Kiln State Park and San Juan County Park (http://www.snugresort.com)

Now Snug Harbor has a comfortable familiarity, like pulling into the driveway of the home you grew up in, but upon our first arrival it was just a place to anchor for the night… And then we saw our first Snug Harbor Sunset. Although the first sunset at Snug Harbor may not have been the most spectacular of sunsets, it was special to us because it was the first of many we would experience. The West Side of San Juan Island has many magical characteristics, evergreen and deciduous forests that draw in your imagination, rocky cliffs dropping into the deep blue-green Haro Strait below, and of course the Southern Resident killer whales. All of these things I was expecting to encounter, but I never realized that I would be experiencing wondrous sunsets almost every night, and those sunsets became one of my favorite parts of cruising on the West Side of San Juan Island.

On top of the sunset Snug Harbor provides great wildlife viewing. One morning before breakfast we noticed a majestic bald eagle perched on the rock at the edge of the harbor. The skies behind him were blue and clear enough to see the mountaintops of Vancouver Island. I have seen many eagles, back in Minnesota, and on the island this spring, but this eagle was its own entity. He sat there on his perch, not even realizing the perfect photo opportunity he was giving us all. The scene looked like something off of a postcard or out of a wildlife magazine.


After an amazing first few days on the water and nights at Snug Harbor I look forward to the next couple of weeks. Boat life might be different and a little more difficult that life on land, but it is an adventure. Hopefully ours will include the Southern Residents soon!


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