A New Season Begins
Kayaking at Sucia
Low tide is one of the best times to kayak at Sucia Island. One sunshine-y fall day I took several of our guests for a paddle along the wind-and-wave-sculpted sandstone that makes up Sucia. My guests were agreeable to a slow paddle where we could inspect the sea life that lives just below the surface. The easiest animals to find were sea stars: giant pink stars, purple sea stars, sunflower stars, and leather stars. A few of the purple sea stars and leather stars were exposed on the rocks giving us the opportunity to reach out and feel the difference between the two species.
Below our kayaks we watched several types of small fish including a school of bay pipefish that look like a straightened sea horse. There must of been many other fish in deeper water even though we couldn’t see them, since we spotted several seals hunting.
We glided along, talking about the creatures hidden in the rocks and seaweed. We discovered many of them by focusing on the slightest movements or a differences in color. We found chitons, sea urchins, sea anemones, crabs, and two kinds of sea cucumbers — the California sea cucumber and the orange sea cucumber. We could have spent all day looking and watching the intertidal world and not see it all.
Our paddle lasted about two hours. I was a little reluctant to end our time at Sucia, but it was nearing lunchtime and time to return to the David B. Besides we had other adventures awaiting us.
Sea Otters in Queen Charlotte Sound
Earlier this summer when we were heading north to Ketchikan from Bellingham on our 12-day Inside Passage cruise, we has a pleasant surprise of finding several sea otters in a place we’d not seen them before. To read about it, head over to my blog at Yachting Magazine…
Aboard the David B – Article by Mary Richardson
This past spring Mary Richardson came on her second cruise aboard the David B. Her cruise was one of our 12-day Inside Passage trips between Bellingham and Ketchikan. Here’s the story she wrote for the American Press of Lake Charles, LA. (click on the article pages or links to read):
Cruise the Inside Passage – Presentation April 10th
If you love the Inside Passage and are dreaming of cruising to Alaska? Join us for an evening of photographs, fun stories and tips? on cruising the Inside Passage at the Whatcom Maritime Association’s monthly meeting on April 10th — 7pm. 2633 S Harbor Loop Dr, Bellingham, Washington
It’s free and open to the public. Click on the link below for printable flyer:
Directions to Squalicum Yacht Club
Think of a Road Trip…
you went on, maybe back in your early twenties. Do you remember the view out the windows, the miles going by, the freedom of choosing where you were going to go and how you were going to get to your destination? You were there, in the moment, living. Did you have your tent along, or did you crash at friends’ houses. Was it sunny and beautiful and windows-rolled-down cruising or crazy snowing and are-we-going-to-get-there-alive thrilling? Remember that wonderful feeling of having the music cranked up?
The thing is, it’s fun to live those trips and almost as much fun to re-live those trips later. We have all these memories, and for me seldom an hour goes by without thinking about something from the past. It’s not like I’m dragging up all these memories of just road trips. It’s all kinds of stuff. It’s just that the memories of what I had for lunch yesterday , or what I told my accountant last week aren’t going to stick with me like that ones from the road trip.
When you’re on the David B, you’ll see things that you might never get to see again. Humpback whales feeding together in groups, glacier carved fjords, native totem pole ruins slowly decomposing into the earth, bears meandering on the beach. The list is endless, no day is the same, but the memories, that’s what’s really important. They’re yours to bring back anytime. Like that road trip.
Call us. It’s time you went cruising.
We hope to see you soon!
Captain Jeffrey and Christine
PS. You won’t need your tent for this road trip!
Planning Your Inside Passage Cruise – Part Two
This week I wrote my second installment in the Learn to Cruise series I’d doing for CruisingNW.com. We’re doing set of articles in conjunction with our 12-day Learn to Cruise educational cruises in the Inside Passage. For week two I’m giving some tips for planning an itinerary. The topics include:
- What are my time constraints?
- How far will we go?
- What are our daily itineraries?
- What are our planned activities?
- What did I needed to know for Canada Customs and US Customs?
You can read the whole article at http://cruisingnw.com/planning-your-inside-passage-cruise-itinerary/#
Be sure to check out our 12-day Learn to Cruise the Inside Passage trips. These are fun one-way cruises departing from either Bellingham, Washington or Ketchikan, Alaska that are great for individuals or couple who want more hands-on boating experience in the Inside Passage.
For more information or to book a reservation:
Learn to Cruise the Inside Passage
When a friend of ours suggested we change the focus of our 12-Day Inside Passage trips between Bellingham and Ketchikan from nature and wildlife watching to instruction, we knew he had a great idea. Last year we sold out our Learn to Cruise trips and we certainly hope to do so again this year.
As part of our excitement about these trips, we are happy to announce a series of articles we’ll be writing for CruisingNW.com. In these articles we’ll be sharing information on cruising the Inside Passage. We hope this will help others plan their own trips. The link below will take you our first installment. In this article you’ll learn why we feel cruising in the Inside Passage should be on everyone’s bucket list.
We hope you’ll enjoy these articles and find them useful!
If you are interested in signing up for one of our Learn to Cruise trips you can call us at 360-201-8184 or fill out the form below:
Take Time to Learn CPR
A month ago I learned just how important it is to learn CPR when my Dad had a heart attack. Here’s a link to Christine’s post at Yachting Magazine about learning CPR and why it’s important for boaters.
Below is a picture of Christine’s Dad, Steve, riding the bicycle this summer on the David B’s pilothouse roof.
A Stroll on Jones Island
[pix_dropcap]W[/pix_dropcap]ashington State is lucky to have an incredible system of marine parks. Several in the San Juan Islands. One that I particularly enjoy is Jones Island, a hundred and eighty-eight acre park that has a network of trails running along it’s perimeter and across the island. One of the many things that’s attractive about Jones Island is that it is only accessible by boat.
Once ashore, I always savor the walk through the forest to the other side of the island. Occasionally I’ve spotted a pileated woodpecker flying from tree to tree. Douglas Fir, Western red cedar, hemlock and big leaf maple make up most of the forest. There are also many mosses, lichens and fungi and I sometimes get to spend a half hour or longer with my guide books as we wander the paths. The walk opens up to a grassy area where black-tailed deer graze. They are quite friendly and will often let us come close enough to get a good picture. My favorite part of the walk is where the trail begins to skirt the edge of the island. Here, I’ve learned where to find a native prickly pear cactus. Yes, it’s true wet western Washington does have native cactus growing thanks to the rain shadow from the Olympic mountains. Another interesting native plant is the Garry Oak. There aren’t too many of these left in the San Juan Islands and the ones on Jones Islands are fenced off to encourage their renewal.
River otters and harbor seals are also regular visitors to Jones Island. Those of us who live and work near the saltwater can easily forget how interesting and fun these regularly seen animals are to watch. When we spot one it’s the highlight of the day. This summer we had a private charter with three generations of women who walked Jones Island with me. We were sitting on some rocks along the trail watching two deer, when two hikers came by and told us about four river otters who were feeding just around the corner. I got up and walked ahead of the group until I noticed a small boil in the water just below a rocky outcrop. The sun made the dried grass atop the outcrop warm and welcoming. I sat down to take some photos. A couple seconds later an otter popped up with crab in it’s mouth. The three other otters soon followed. My group caught up to me, and it was heartwarming to watch the excitement about the river otters. We talked for a while about the difference between river otters and sea otters, which we don’t see in the San Juan Islands.
I kept up with the otters until they came to a low spot. Cautiously they came onto the island. They stayed close to each other, rubbing their bodies together in braid-like motion. They made warning chirps as they tested the side of the trail. With trepidation they attempted to cross, but a bird flew past them and they retreated. I stood still with my camera. Again they emerged. They wanted to get to the forest and the underbrush of thick-leaved salal. I waited for the otters to make their move. It took several more tries. There was lots of head bobbing and back-leg kicking before they made their break. They scurried across the dirt and root trail; their forepaws low, and their hips high reminded me vaguely of an inchworm. They soon disappeared into the forest. I stood up to listen to them before turning around.
Back at the boat, Jeffrey was almost finished with lunch preparations. I took out my journal and quickly noted all the things we had seen. I’ve been to Jones Island many times and what I like about it is that there are many things that seem to remain the same, but with each stroll, there’s always something new. I’m looking forward to our next walk on Jones.