Deer Harbor, Orcas Island, WA to Rosario Resort & Marina – and aw shucks, only two days until I have to leave the beautiful San Juan Islands

I realized when I woke up on the boat this morning to leave for Rosario that we only had two days left on out trip.  Then we will have to take Doug’s boat back to La Conner, WA, and Ron and I will take the rental car back and leave it at the Seattle airport.  Ron will fly home to San Francisco, and I will fly back to Washington Regan Airport and go back to Alexandria.  We have been doing these trips every year since 2001.  Our firstntrip in 2001 ended on 10 Sept, and we all went our own way.  The next morning we all woke up to the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center collapsing in NYC, and it was a real shock after our cruise in the San Juan Islands.  I wonder if I will wake up to a new shock on Wed, 18 Sept. after I get back this year.

Doug and I met in 1998 when he called me from Seattle to install a network at one of his offices in Los Angeles.  He called me sight unseen after I had been referred to him through one of his vendors.  When he came down to LA to see what he had purchased, we were talking after he had reviewed his purchase (we were still talking then), and he told me he owned a boat in the Puget Sound area.  At that time I asked him if I could get a ride on his boat someday.  At the time, I thought I would purchase some gas, and he would take me out for a short cruise.  Ron used to be my supervisor when I was consulting at Charles Schwab in San Francisco from 1998 to 2000.  I had remained in contact with Doug by email, and in Aug 2001, called him up to see about getting the short boat ride he promised me.  Well, he said yes, and bring a friend, and we can go out for the weekend, and of course I said sure.  I did not know whom to ask.  I asked several friends, and they either said they did not like sailing, did not have any money, my wife won’t let me go, or something, and then I remembered that Ron had a sailboat.  Ron and I had never really socialized, but had lunch now and then when I was in the Bay Area.  So I called Ron and asked he if he would want to go on a cruise in the San Juan Islands, and he said, when are we going.  That was sure easy.  Anyway, I picked Ron up in downtown Seattle after I flew in, we drove up to La Conner, got on Doug’s boat, and when he returned to La Conner, Doug asked us if we wanted to do this again the next year.  So since 2001, we have done this every year except 2005 when I had a detached retina, and could not fly.  Now the trip is sort of “the guys” trip each year.  Peggy kicks Doug out, Ron says by to Linda, and I tell Beth I be back in 7 – 10 days (it varies each year).  Doug supplies the boat, and Ron and I split the gas and the dock fees.  Ron and I also split the price of a rental car.  Normally, the gas for the boat runs $400 – $500 / trip, the rental car $150 – $200 / trip, and marina slip fees about $200.  Ron and I split these fees.  My airfare from Alexandria, VA this year was about $500, but all of my previous trips from the east coast have been free with American Airlines frequent flyer miles.

Again the mornings are always so calm in the San Juan’s.  I slept in till 7:30 this morning trying to remember if I had any annual leave left.  I thought I might have to call Steve V at DISA to see if I have any leave left.  I may just tell him I will not be back, or that I forgot how many hours I have, or just that I will not be back. I have a few more years, I hope, before I will be doing a more permanent checkout.  As I was saying earlier, the mornings are really nice in the San Juan’s.  Below are some pictures that I took this morning.

An early AM Deer Harbor view to the south

An early AM look to the west at Deer Harbor

Prior to leaving this morning, we had to buy gas.  I don’t want to hear any of you guys whine about the price of gas.  At Deer Harbor Marina this morning we had to pay $4.99 for a gallon on unleaded regular.  They say, “A boat is a glass lined hole in the water into which you just pour money.“ I think it would be more accurate to say “A boat is a glass lined hole in the water into which you pour $4.95 a gallon unleaded regular gas.”

The transit time from Deer Harbor to Rosario required a little less than three hours.  A map showing our route is shown below.  We did encounter any seals attaching Rejoice, or see any orcas.  We did see a ferry just after passing West Sound.  The real problems we did encounter were several not so courteous boats going both too fast and too close to us, and generating rather large wakes.  One of waves was large enough to knock some dishes onto the floor when it hit.  Some pictures of our transit are shown below.

Our route from Deer Harbor to Rosario Resort & Marina on 16 September 2012

Under way leaving Deer Harbor for Rosario Resort & Marina
Washington State Ferry at West Sound, Orcas Island, WA (courtesy of Google)
Rosario Resort & Marina comes into view as we enter East Sound
Rosario Resort & Marina, Orcas Island, WA
I wonder how you know when you get to Rosario Resort & Marina?

One of the prettiest views we had was a view of Mt. Baker about 75 miles to the east.  Mt. Baker is a 10,750 foot high volcano that threatens to erupt every now and then.  The last eruption for Mt. Baker was about 140 years ago in 1880.

Mt. Baker from our boat about 75 miles to the east

Rosario Resort was originally the home of Robert Moran.  He was a engineer shipbuilder in Seattle.  When he retired, he moved to Orcas Island and built his home which later became Rosario Resort & Marina.

For those that remember the original purpose of this trip, the find, map, and publish all Starbucks locations in the San Juan Islands, I am still a failure.  I do not know if this means that I am a complete bozo, or that I have discovered a great place that has not been infiltrated (at least as of the time I wrote this) by the big fast food chains.  Come to think of it, I have not seen a McDonald’s, Taco Bell, or a Weinerschnitzel.  Maybe I could get Eric Olsen to FedEx Chile Cheese Dog to me.  As you can tell, I am not adjusting very well to no Starbucks, or Chile Cheese Dog’s.

Below are some links to places I have mentioned in this posting for those with a further interest:

History of Robert Moran and Rosario Resort:

History of Robert Moran and Rosario Resort:

Rosario Resort & Marina:

Mount Baker:

Mount Baker Volcano:

Washington State Ferry:

Washington State Ferry Schedules:



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