Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up: Sailing in Friday Harbor

Brian got a call, out of the blue, a few weeks ago from his old college buddy, Russ.

Him and his wife Sue (along with their two boys, Matt and James and Sue's father, Chris) sail every few years for several weeks in August up in the San Juan Islands north of Seattle.  Russ called to see if we wanted to join them for a day sail around Friday Harbor.

The answer was YES!!!!

Sue's Dad Chris owns the sailboat and spends his summers in the San Juan's. 

 Brian's buddy, Russ

The San Juan Islands are a group of islands between the US Mainland and British Columbia, Canada and are accessible by passenger ferry.  There are actually 172 islands in the chain, but only three major islands, Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Island.

Friday Harbor is a town on San Juan Island and has a population of about 2,000 people.

In 1845 the Hudson's Bay Company laid claim to San Juan Island and in 1850 they build a salmon curing station and later, introduced sheep farming.

 Captain Brian at the helm

The town's name originates from Joseph Poalie Friday, a native Hawaiian who worked at Hudson's Bay and raised and herded sheep around the island.

I've never been to the San Juan Island before so we were super excited to spend the day not only on a sailboat with good friends, but also in one of the Pacific Northwest's jewels.

 Brian trimming the sails

Sue's Dad, Chris is 83 years old and learned to sail in his 60's.  He navigates the San Juan's every year for 3-4 months, hosting family and friends (basically anyone who wants to crew with him).

 Russ, Brian and Stacy sitting port side

We spent about 4 hours sailing the waters off Friday Harbor, Shaw and Orcas Islands, including an adventure out through the straight of Juan De Fuca (which is a 95 mile stretch of water that is basically the Salish Sea outlet to the Pacific Ocean).   It was rough on account of the current tides, but it was one hell of a ride.

It ended all too soon, we headed back into the marina and wandered around the town of Friday Harbor for an hour, grabbed a bite to eat and shared sailing stories!

 Brian with the Wade Family (Brian, James, Chris, Matt, Russ and Sue L-R)

We said our goodbyes at the ferry terminal around 6:30, leaving our friends to spend the entire week sailing in the beautiful pacific northwest (today they head over to Victoria, BC for a few days).

Bon Voyage and thanks again for an amazing day!