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San Juan County

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  • Day197

    Wild Whales Vancouver - Whale Watching

    July 16, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    Ein Punkt auf unserer To Do Liste für Kanada ist Wale gucken. Für den 14.07. (Freitag) hatten wir eine Ausfahrt auf einem Whale Watching Boot bei "Wild Whales Vancouver" gebucht. Teurer Spaß, haben zwar "nur" den Studententarif bezahlt, aber selbst der ist schweineteuer (hatten unglücklicherweise unsere Studentenausweise vergessen). Dafür gibts die Tickets aber mit Wal-Garantie. Da waren wir ja schon mal gespannt wie sie das anstellen wollen. Long story short: Wir haben keinen einzigen Wal gesehen. Es haben sich lediglich ein paar Robben und ein Adler blicken lassen, das wars. Deshalb haben wir Gutscheine bekommen, um kostenlos erneut mitfahren zu dürfen, damit sie auch die Wal-Garantie einhalten können. Aha, so geht das also.

    Wir buchten direkt für Sonntag die erste Tour am Morgen um 9 Uhr. Etwas müde von einer kurzen Nacht und einer 30-minütigen Fahrradstrecke kamen wir erneut bei Wild Whales Vancouver an. Wir kannten bereits unsere Größen für die Ganzkörperanzüge, die bekommt man, wenn man auf einem offenen Boot draußen sitzt, soll vor Wasser und Kälte schützen. Ist auch ziemlich sinnvoll und steht David ausgezeichnet. Julia sieht eher wie ein brennendes Michelin Männchen aus. Aber natürlich auch süß.

    Mit ordentlich Karacho bretterte das Boot mit 20 Personen los. Wir saßen ganz hinten, waren auf dem Boot die einzigen Außenplätze, neben uns 2 sehr nette Münchener Apothekerinnen, die für 9 Wochen eine Rundreise durch Kanada und die USA machen. Ganze 3 Stunden bekamen wir - außer der bezaubernden Landschaft Kanadas - nichts zu sehen. Und wir dachten schon das wird nichts mehr. Auf einmal die freudige Botschaft: 30 Meilen weiter südlich wurden Orcas gesichtet, dort fahren wir hin. Okidoki, ab zur Straße von Georgia. In Kanada darf man sich mit den Booten um die 100 Meter an die Tiere nähern. Wenn man näher ranfährt und die Wasserpolizei das mitbekommt muss man Strafe zahlen.

    Und dann, in der Ferne: Orcas! Alle ganz freudig "Wir wollen näher ran!" Tja, zu dem Zeitpunkt befanden wir uns jedoch schon in amerikanischen Gewässern und da gilt die Regel 180 Meter Abstand. Buh! Und die Wasserpolizei war auf einem Kleinboot direkt am Start und beobachtete das Treiben der Boote. Mit bloßem Auge konnte man die Orcas gut sehen und auch die Wasserwolken, die sie beim Auftauchen auspusten, aber auf Kamera: Pustekuchen. Da irgendwo in dem Bild ist eine schwarze Flosse. Das ist "Wo-ist-Walter?" auf höchstem Niveau. Waren also etwas enttäuscht. Dann jedoch die Info: Wir fahren wieder in die entgegengesetzte Richtung, da wurden 20 Orcas gesichtet. Ja nee ist klar. Die Säcke wollen uns doch nur aufmuntern.

    45 Minuten später - wir nutzen die Zeit um unser mitgebrachtes Mittag zu vertilgen und etwas zu schlafen, so gut das eben neben einem Motor geht - kamen wir bei der besagten Stelle an. Stille, aber 3 andere Boote. Gutes Zeichen. Und bäm ging es los: Um die 20 Orcas aufgeteilt in 3 Familien zeigten ihre pechschwarzen Rückenflossen und schwammen gemeinsam in eine Richtung. Hammer. Man hörte ständig "Oh", "Ah" und "Mann ist das ein riesiges Männchen!". Die Männchen haben nämlich die lange, nach oben stehende Flosse und diese kann 2 Meter lang sein. Fällt zwischen den eher kleineren, weiblichen Rückenflossen ordentlich auf. Alle schauten gebannt aufs Wasser und immer wenn die Tiere sich zeigten, liefen die Kameras auf Hochturen. Was eine Freude. David musste schon ganze Zeit pinkeln und als sich dann die Stimmung etwas beruhigte und die Wale bereits etwas weiter weg waren, ging er aufs Klo. Wie der Zufall es will: Ganz genau in diesem Moment taucht 15 Meter neben dem Boot ein Orca auf. Aus nächster Nähe konnte man nun die tolle schwarz-weiße Färbung des Tieres sehen. Julia vergas im ersten Moment ein Foto zu machen und dachte an Davids Gesicht, wenn er gleich davon erfährt. Herrje. Der Orca war natürlich schon wieder abgetaucht, als David zurück kam. Alle sprachen noch völlig aufgedreht von dem Erlebnis und dass er ja so nah dran war. Davids Gesichtsausdruck hielt sich in Grenzen. Trotzdem ein wahnsinnig schönes Erlebnis. Diese Tiere so nah zu erleben und zu hören, wenn sie das Wasser rauspusten beim Hochkommen, einfach Hammer.

    Mit etwas Seegang und viel Spritzwasser ging es zurück zum Vancouver Hafen. Ganze 6 Stunden ging der Ausflug. Erschöpft und etwas schwankend vom Boot, ging es wieder auf die Räder zurück zur Wohnung von Dorothy und Nino. Jetzt erstmal ein kühles Getränk und Bilder gucken.

    P.s.: Das geile Bild (nicht das von David, sondern vom Orca) ist von der Agentur Wild Whales Vancouver geschossen worden.
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    World in my eyes

    Hammercool!!!!

    7/19/17Reply
    Denise Bullwinkel

    Oh Julia du siehst so knuffig aus 🙈

    7/19/17Reply
     
  • Day33

    Free Joey

    July 31, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Today marked the final travel separation from my dear friend and travel companion Kate. Kate has been the most wonderful friend and travel companion a girl could ask for. When life hit a major bump in the road at the start of the year the possibility of joining Kate on her loosely planned adventures helped see me through some really dark days. I said from the outset that I didn't know for sure if i would get to embark on such an adventure but boy am I glad that I did. I'm not usually one for believing in 'things happen for a reason' but events of this year may just sway me on that. Kate is incredibly wise and thoughtful as well as being funny and kind. We have had such an amazing time together. Nothing quite prepared me for the shock wave of emotion that hit when we said goodbye from our last Uber together at Pier 69. I kid you not, I didn't stop crying for nearly an hour. I'm tearing up again now just thinking about it. Neither of us would have been on this very adventure without the other. Kate's original plans entailed several Trek America tours but having a buddy who was willing to drive opened up the possibilities and we did far more together than either one of us would have done separately. Kate was now off to Vancouver to pick up her 3 week tour across Canada. I was originally supposed to fly home from Seattle. However, when it came to booking flights a little monkey on my shoulder (let's call her Jane!) started pondering the possibilities of travelling solo back across Canada on the trains and back to NY where I started. This would be the least prepared and itinerarised segment of the adventure but I was equally excited about it. They say travelling solo is something everyone should do once in their life so this would be my go at it.

    I had a very special day planned today. I was off to the San Juan Islands in search of Orcas. I can't lie, I have been a little obsessed with the fear inducing but beautiful whales since Free Willy hit the cinemas in the early 90s. The obsession continued long into adulthood whilst I avidly followed the campaigns against Sea World and went to the cinema alone (something I do rarely) to see Black Fish which documents the life of the Orcas in captivity that have attacked their trainers - fatally or otherwise. Needless to say it has been a life long dream of mine to see them in the wild so I had high hopes for today.

    The journey to San Juan was just short of three hours. Once the none whale watching passengers disembarked at Friday Harhor we set off on our whale watching adventures. I was fortunate to make two new friends - Maggie and Alison whilst securing our spots on the top deck. The San Juan Islands are stunning. If anyone saw Free Willy 2 - this is where it was shot. It wasn't long before our boat found a pod of transient Orcas. I could barely breathe. They were so majestic the way they glid through the water. Of course, unlike all the photographs we see, it is rare that we get to see the whales venture far out of the water. However after taking over 800 photos I did manage to get a couple which 'showed their faces'. We were fortunate enough to see a couple of calves too. Sadly no breaches or spy hops though. That being said, we did watch a seal basking in the sun to find moments later it was gone and was subsequently shared amongst the pod for lunch. Nothing like a live David Attenbrough show to keep you entertained.

    After over 2 hours of watching the Orcas we returned to Friday Harbor for a few hours onshore to browse the shops and enjoy the local ice cream. I indulged in a scoop of 'Moose Tracks' which was only slightly regretted as it contained mini reeses peanut butter cups and I do not to peanuts. Somehow I survived.

    Being one of the first to reboard the vessel I grabbed a good table seat and kept an eye out for Maggie and Alison to join me. Meanwhile I was joined by Nathan who had spent time with family on the Island and was returning back to work in Seattle. The girls and I decided as we had a 3 hour trip back to the Emerald City we would indulge in the very reasonable on board wine and discounted snacks. By the time we hit the second bottle, Nathan had put down his book and joined in too.

    We met a group of girls from Boston that had just spent 5 days on the Island kayaking in search of the resident pods and had not seen a single whale. We couldn't help but feel a little guilty! Not long after we cast off and were heading back through the islands, the boat stopped it's engines and we were called to the deck. Another pod had surfaced and was heading right for us. These came far closer than the previous pods and we even got a little spy hop out of one. Sadly despite the image count on my camera I somehow missed it. Still we were really pleased that the Boston girls got to see some at last!

    On getting back to Seattle, our little crew decided to go and grab dinner together. It transpired we were all living/staying near Green Lake so we grabbed an Uber and enjoyed some more wine and some delicious food before I headed back to our Air BnB minus Kate.

    I was pleased to finally meet our other host, Kailie who I had been communicating with prior to the trip and had kindly arranged for me to be able to stay an extra night in their office to stop me finding alternative accommodation for my last night in Seattle. I also had the pleasure of meeting their pooch - Mr Brojangles! I was sad to see my Seattle adventures drawing to a close but I'd be seeing it off in style the next morning.
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    Jackie Beard

    Oh Joey welling up as I read like I said before you two have shared an amazing adventure. Xxx

    8/5/17Reply
    Jackie Beard

    Um where is the seal 😩xx

    8/5/17Reply
    Jackie Beard

    Your Dad nearly flew over to get you when he saw this photo 😩xx

    8/5/17Reply
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  • May23

    Wale!

    May 23, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Was wäre der Pazifik ohne Walbeobachtung. Nur ist die hier in Canada vom Schiff aus sehr teuer. Warum also nicht von Land? Möglich ist das auf Saturna, weil die Wale in der Gezeitenstöming den ganzen Sommer Nahrung finden und z.T nur 20 von der Küste weg unterwegs sind. Ich würde sagen: check!Read more

    HVA on Tour

    Was ein malerischer Sonnenuntergang!

    5/27/19Reply
     
  • Day17

    Rosario Harbor and Cascade Lake

    July 13, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Andy, Kristina and I went on a 10 mile hike today to Cascade lake through a nice wooded area that reminded me a lot of Germany. The weather was perfect.. a blue sky and just the right temperature for walking. We had picnic lunch at cascade falls before returning back to our boat. A deer appeared right in front of me and I was so startled that it took off. Since hunting is not allowed on this island, the deer is not very shy. We had a delicious spaghetti dinner on the boat this evening and had about 6-8 otters playing on the dinghy dock next to us. Unfortunately it was already too dark to take a picture! We also saw the deer in the meadow again. Apparently they come down every dusk to feed.Read more

  • Day16

    Rosario Harbor

    July 12, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    We played a round of Bocce before we left Roche harbor. It’s another beautiful day - shorts weather! Kristina took the boat out of the slip and is taking us to Rosario Harbor. We are expecting about a 4.5 hr ride. We had to motor most of the way but once we were in the bay the wind picked up and we sailed for about 2 hrs before going into our slip. Had a nice dinner at the restaurant that overlooked the harbor and had a unique encounter with some deer. Rounded off the day with a fun evening playing cards against Humanity with Kristina and Terry.Read more

  • Day11

    Reid Harbor on Stewart Island

    July 7, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We sailed to Stewart Island today, which is as close to the Canadian border as it gets as it is still closed due to Covid. Sailed for a little while until the wind died, then I motored us into the bay where we anchored. The weather seems to be turning. It was more chilly and clouds are coming in. It’s a beautiful evening though, the clouds went away and we are having steak dinner on the cockpit.Read more

    Genießt den Regen ☔️ und das „Sauwetter“ .... Sonne 🌞 habt ihr daheim 🏠 genug [Alexandra]

    7/8/20Reply
    Alexandra Williamson

    😂

    7/8/20Reply
     
  • Day14

    Roche Harbor on San Juan Island

    July 10, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We left Friday harbor and sailed around the west side of the island to Roche Harbor on the southern tip of San Juan Island. On the way we also got in some fishing but so far no luck! It was another beautiful day and we saw another lonesome orca in the straight. After arrival we went on a walk around the harbor which is dominated by a 5 star resort, two restaurants and some little shops.Read more

    Brunhilde Mueck

    Da habt ihr euch eine abwechslungsreiche und interessante Fahrt zusammengestellt... alle Achtung

    7/12/20Reply
     
  • Day18

    Watmough Bay

    July 14, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Left Rosario at 10 this morning and motored to Watmough Bay. It’s been another gorgeous day but no wind. Upon arrival we saw some otters eating some fish in the rocks and after some downtime we took the dinghy to the beach to go on a short hike. We spend some more time on the beach and watched some locals swim in the below 50 degree F water. Kristina was the most courageous one of us to dip her feet into the cold bay. The view from here is breathtaking with Mount St Helens as a backdrop.Read more

  • Day12

    Friday Harbor

    July 8, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Andy, Kristina and Terry went for a hike on Stuart island in the morning and came across some 🦦 otters that were playing in the water. It was a beautiful day although a bit chilly. In the afternoon we went on a 5 hr sail to Friday Harbor. After arrival we went for a nice dinner at ‘Bluewater’ restaurant where we could overlook the harbor.Read more

  • Day15

    Open Bay

    July 11, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We decided to stay in Roche Harbor for another day as the forecast predicted rain for the afternoon. Andy wanted to do some more fishing so we left for open Bay in the late morning. I took the boat out of the slip and also put it back in when we returned. We fished for about 4 hours but did not get one fish! It also started raining as predicted and I am so glad I had bought some rain gear before we left. Luckily the weather cleared back up in the evening and we had a nice chicken dinner on board.
    The real cool thing about the water here is that it not only is very deep (over 1,000 ft in some places) but where the currents converge between the islands, it creates eddies and the water looks like it was in a washing machine while just a few feet away it is totally calm. There are also plenty of logs and kelp one has to look out for floating in the water, and the most dangerous are the rocks that are hidden just beneath the water surface. The tides here can vary up to 10 feet between high and low tide!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

San Juan County, مقاطعة سان خوان, Сан Хуан, সান জুয়ান কাউন্টি, Kantono San Juan, Condado de San Juan, San Juan konderria, شهرستان سن خوان، واشینگتن, Comté de San Juan, San Juan megye, Contea di San Juan, サンフアン郡, 샌환 군, San Juan Kūn, Hrabstwo San Juan, سان جوان کاؤنٹی، واشنگٹن, Comitatul San Juan, Сан-Хуан, Округ Сан Хуан, سان خوان کاؤنٹی، واشنگٹن, Quận San Juan, Condado han San Juan, 圣胡安县

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