Friday, July 23, 2010

#50 Anacortes and the End of our Vancouver Island Circumnavigation

On Friday we exited pretty Friday Harbor, of course, for the last port to complete our counter-clockwise, circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. We left in April, cruised up the Inside Passage to Port McNeil in May, spent most of June in the Broughtons, then rounded Cape Scott and the West Coast of the Island. Today, on July 23rd, we complete the circle.

We learned the northern West Coast is pretty sparsely populated with only lift stations and tiny fishing villages along the route. The deep inlets lead to larger villages with stores and restaurants. Just a small amount of commercial activity remains: fishing, logging, and wood processing.

The southern West Coast opens up to touristy Tofino, Ucluelet and Bamfield. Sports fishing and vacationing create the majority of commercial activity. The towns and people are friendly and helpful.

The sun continues to shine and vacationers have mobbed the San Juan Islands. They come to see the sights aboard charter boats, whale watchers, and speedy passenger catamarans.

Speedy cat parts the waves at 25 knots with 200 passengers.

We arrived at Anacortes' Cap Sante Boat Haven and sign up for three nights. The Wild Blue has been here many times before including one very snowy winter. Willie, Joe and Mike leave for home tomorrow and new crew arrives on Sunday. It's been a fun couple of weeks with the "college roommates". Conversations included "What ever happened to __________ ", turkey and chicken ranching, politics, tax law, illegal immigrants, and growing older. The highlight was John Wayne movies every night. (Why the heck did they ever make the Hatari movie). We're already looking forward to next year's cruise.

Willie celebrated his 61st birthday today. Forty years ago we were all together in San Luis Obispo for his 21st birthday, although some parts of that birthday story seem to be missing.

After sixty, you only get one candle on your cake!

The crew helped scrub the boat as new crew is coming tomorrow. After detail cleaning Wild Blue will be ready for the Watkins family and Pat for week of cruising the northern Puget Sound.

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