22 Hours on San Juan Island

23 07 2015

Gray skies greeted us Sunday morning as we boarded the ferry from Anacortes to San Juan Island.

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Jerry and I were determined to see whales.  We were bundled and huddled up outside, scouring the waterscape trying to see as hard as we could some sort of sign of whales.  A water spout, a tail slap, a dorsal fin….Any sign of whales.

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The fog didn’t make it the easiest. And before we knew it, the sixty-five minute ferry ride was over and no whales…

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San Juan Island has a unique history.  In 1859, Great Britain and the United States agreed to a joint occupation of San Juan Island until the water boundary between the two nations could be settled.  So on this little island of 621 square miles, the US and Great Britain settled into camps located on opposite ends of the island.

At the South end of the island we found the American Camp complete with a couple deer sightings and a telescope aimed at an Eagle nest.

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And on the North side of the island, the English camp, with some pretty nice views and a telescope aimed at an Ospray nest.  In terms of views, I think the English camp may have won the battle, but ultimately the United States won the territory dispute and the British left their camp with a view in 1872.

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Although I was happy to see these historical places, it was the wild life that I came to San Juan Island for.

The first time I asked Nathan to stop the car:  Cows.

I believe when I got out of the car, the question was asked, ‘Doesn’t Canada have cows?’ 

 Of course, but laugh all you want, I got some fun photos!

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And the second best part of the day:  The Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm. 

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I never really thought about how many different colours of Alpacas there are, or how different they can all look.  And I admit, I had my favourites.

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It’s a toss up between these last two – I can’t decide which one is my favourite, but they both make me smile!

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One of the most beautiful parts of the island was Roche Harbor.  With blue skies as the backdrop for a picturesque marina, historic Hotel de Haro, remnants of old lime kilns, and a fragrant flowering arbor, it was a picture perfect scene.

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We found ourselves back at Friday Harbor, ready to settle in for the night, around 5PM.  It was definitely a jam-packed day, and although we missed the opportunity to stroll the streets and browse the colourful shops, we didn’t miss out on the chance for enjoying a little marina life.  And for the first time for some of us, we spent the night breathing in the salty sea air and rocking to the lullaby of the harbour.

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