Rosario to Saddlebag Island to La Conner, WA – then home – shucks – shucks

Breakfast yesterday was in the restaurant at Rosario Resort. It was absolutely wonderful. The scrambled eggs and the large thin pancake was one of the best breakfasts I have ever eaten. The dining room at Rosario resort is this stately old room overlooking East Sound. The service was great, the environment was great, the food was great, and the beautiful view was even better. Below are pictures of Rosario Resort during and right after breakfast.

Breakfast view of East Sound from the Rosario Resort restaurant
Rosario Resort main entrance

Our routing yesterday took us from Rosario Resort, through several island channels to Saddlebag Island, WA where we anchored for lunch. Saddlebag Island is a small island that is a Washington State Park. We stayed there a couple of hours, and then left to return to Doug’s home in Shelter Bay near La Conner, WA. The transit time from Rosario Resort to Saddlebag was about three hours. Along the way we just looked at the beautiful views and enjoyed our slow paced cruise which was coming to an end yesterday. Frequently, Mt. Baker was either direly in our view, or could be seen above an island. Below is a map of our transit from Rosario to Saddlebag and on to Shelter Bay along with some of the sights between Rosario and Shelter Bay, and some of the views we experienced.

Our routing from Rosario to Saddlebag Island, and then on to Shelter Bay, La Conner, WA on Monday, 17 September 2012
Departing Rosario Resort & Marina


Mt. Baker rises above an island on our passage to Saddlebag Island
Saddlebag Island – we anchored here for lunch
Ron dropping the Rejoice anchor at Saddlebag Island

On the way to Saddlebag Island, I smelled some smoke. Of course it is not good to be smelling smoke on a boat. I yelled to Doug, the boat captain, and he came down to investigate. The was no visible sign on smoke, but when opening up the floor to check the engines, smoke and the smell of burning rubber came into the cabin. Luckily, there was not any fire, but one of the fan belts on one of the engines had come loose. Doug tried to attach a new fan belt while we were anchored, but it just did not happen. So we had to go back to Shelter Bay on one engine. This was not a big problem, but running on two engines provides for better steering, and having two engines is safer. If you are in bad current, shallow water, or near other maritime hazards and have an engine failure with only one engine, you are more likely to have an accident. Having two running engines always provides for an added level of safety. Just like the Navy flying and F-18 with two engines. When you suffer an engine failure on one engine, the chances of having a serious accident are much higher.

We went directly south from Saddlebag Island to the east of Anacortes, WA down to the La Conner Channel that separates Fidalgo Island from the mainland. Doug was a little worried as we went through the La Conner Channel because of the frequent high currents that can be encountered there. Many interesting sights are seen as you go down the channel. These include passing by an old rotating railroad bridge, passing under the State Hwy 20 Bridge, passing through La Conner, going under the Reservation Rd Bridge, and the entry into Shelter Bay. We managed to pass without any incidents, but because we did not have two engines, we got Doug’s wife Peggy to help us tie up. Normally, Doug would have approached the dock, and then done a starboard tie up, but we approached from the port side and through a rope to Peggy. Doug and Ron then jumped onto the dock and then pulled the Rejoice into a 180 degree turn so that we could do a normal tie up. The transit time from Saddlebag to Shelter was roughly two hours.

Below are some of the views we had during the passage from Saddlebag Island back to Rejoices home at Shelter Bay.

Leaving Saddlebag Island
Hat Island just to the east of Saddlebag Island
A sailboat motoring from the La Conner Channel out to the San Juan Islands
A navigation marker near the entrance to the La Conner Channel
A ghost like ship that is really an open railroad bridge passed just after entering the La Conner Channel
We passed under the Hwy 20 Bridge while transiting the La Conner Channel headed to Shelter Bay
Passing thru La Conner just prior to going under the Reservation Road Bridge

Ron and I had breakfast with Doug in the morning at Calico Café in La Conner, and then drove down to Seattle – Tacoma Airport, returned the rental car, and got on our flights home. I flew Alaska Airlines back to Ronald Regan Airport near Alexandria, and Ron flew on to San Francisco on Virgin Airlines.

Below is a picture of Rejoice tied up in Shelter Bay on a beautiful September morning.

Rejoice tied up at Shelter Bay on the beautiful morning we are leaving

The weather during this trip has been absolutely wonderful. Normally, during September it can be touch and go as to the weather in the Northwest. We had bright sunny 70 degree days during the entire trip. Some years we have encountered rain, and cloudy days, but every day on this trip has been wonderful. The evenings were a little nippy, sometimes requiring a sweater, but otherwise I probably got some more basal cells this trip, and next time I go to see the dermatologist, he will tell me to put on more sun tan lotion, wear a long sleeve shirt, and a hat. I bet those dermatologists never have any fun. I am going to get even with those dermo guys, and buy another convertible.

In one way this trip was a failure.  Remember, the main purpose of trip was to find and map all Starbucks locations in the San Juan Islands.  I failed in that I did not find even one.  Come to think of it I did not even see a McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wienerschnitzel, or a Peet’s Coffee.  I can deal with this failure.  It will give me a new purpose for our 2013 San Juan Island trip.

Next week Ron and Linda will be going on a diving trip. They will be visiting Indonesia for diving, and then on to Burma and Cambodia. This weekend, Beth and I will be flying to the West Coast to see my son Michael in San Francisco. Next month I will be going to my 50 year Crawford High reunion in San Diego for the Class of 1962, and then on to Brazil, and Argentina. In Brazil, I will visit Porto Alegre fore almost one week, and then onto Ushuaia and Mendoza. So I am sure that I will not run out of things to write about over the next couple of months.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my 2012 San Juan Islands trip.