DC to Victoria
So last year Museum Man invited me on his family's annual sailing trip up to the San Juan Islands in Washington state. We had a blast and it was so relaxing. And so this year he invited me again, and LawyerX as well. It would be the three of us, his Mom and stepdad, and then a couple they know from Wenatchee, Washington. And while LawyerX and I are going to Europe later this month, I really wanted to go. So we did.
Let me tell, first class is the only way to travel these days. Since we procrastinated in buying our tickets, I ended up using miles to get two first class tickets to Seattle. LawyerX is like 6'5", so he needs the legroom. And with a direct flight from Dulles to Seattle, we didn't have that OMG early get up that morning. Now I was a little concerned
about this trip because LawyerX hasn't seen me in my airplane mode. I see air travel as a series of obstacles to be overcome as quickly as possible and I never really relax until I'm actually in my seat on the airplane. But I think I managed to be fun and not to
o stressed. Mind you, we walked up to the gate and got immediately on the flight. So we were doing the just-in-time thing. Now they had switched out aircraft on us, so we weren't sitting together which kind of bummed me out. But, instead of seats, we got these kick ass little pods that actually let you lie flat. So nice. And some good quality entertainment with movies, games, and music. And the screwdrivers we had weren't bad either. We got to Seattle a couple of hours before MuseumMan, so we had lunch and then got manicures. Yes, we're that gay.
Once MuseumMan showed up, we got our bags and his Mom picked us up and we headed north to Anacortes which is the hopping off point for the San Juan Islands. Most of the north west ferries leave out of there and just on the opposite side of the ridge from the ferry
landing was the little marina where we picked up our boat. The Sienne. A 50 Bennato. For those who know those things. It was very nice and fairly spacious. And I say fairly because while we did get one of the
larger cabins, LawyerX is kind of big, and I'm not exactly petite myself. Needless to say there was a lot of banging of heads. But I digress. We loaded up the boat and started doing inventory while we awaited the rest of our party. They finally showed up and everything was squared away for a departure the next AM. That evening we had a fine dining experience at the Brass Lantern. Think small town dive bar/restaurant. I will have to say the fried olives were delicious!
The next day we got up, showered at the facilities at the marina (reminded me of being in a barracks!), had breakfast and then prepared to get underway. Since we had such experience sailors on board, they let us go without a ship check so we got underway a little
bit earlier than planned. Which was good because our plan was to bee line to Victoria so we can get a good moorage (parking spot) in front of the Empress Hotel. The weather was a bit cold and overcast. After a week of over 100 degrees heat which is really freakish for them, the pendulum swung the other way and we had highs in the lid 60s. So kind of chilly on the water. But of course, I loved it!
Anacortes is actually a little bit north of Victoria, so we had to swing a little bit south and sail just under Lopez island and then started to hug the coast of San Juan Island so we could cut straight across Haro Straight to Victoria. We did raise the sail once, but the wind wasn't really that strong and we had a mission, so we used the motor most of the day. As we approached San Juan Island, we got the binoculars our because that's where we would see whales if we were lucky. And boy were we lucky. We actually saw quite a few whales including one killer whale that breached, jumping out of the water, to slam itself back into the water. Quite spectacular. And I wish I had caught it on film, but I wasn't quick enough with my camera. But I did get a few semi-decent shots. Plus we did see some other wildlife. But eventually we had to leave San Juan Island and head to Victoria.
Sailing into Victoria is always so great. Such a pretty little town on the water. There were a couple of cruise ships who were there as well, but the sun had come out and the weather was great so it was a great trip into Victoria. After clearing Canadian customs (something we couldn't do last year, long story, don't ask), we got the princess parking in front of the Empress Hotel. Yeah!