Just the ferry ride alone is worth the price of a ticket to Friday Harbor, even if you turn around and come right back home.
We stayed though – a whole two nights – enough time to visit all our old favorite SJI spots.
Friday Harbor was comfortably busy, with enough customers in each store and restaurant to create a good vibe, though without the long lines or noise of a holiday weekend (such as Memorial Day!) It was good to see the shops doing so well. Of course with the economy being what it is we all look for signs up upturn. At dinner Tom and I discussed our own retail contribution to the town and realized we’d bought something in every shop we went into. A book for Dad’s birthday at the bookstore beside the ferry landing, another for Tom up the street at Griffin Bay Books, an immersion heater at the kitchen shop, a bottle of wine for sunset watching at King’s market, reading glasses for me at the pharmacy etc. Yep, we did our part that first afternoon.
Next we did Vitamin D time on the beach at San Juan County Park.
Hiking the Mount Finlayson trail near American Camp at the south end of the island.
Watching fox kits playing with rabbits – or vice-versa.
Walking the four-lane-highway size docks at Roche Harbor.
Sunday morning we watched ships and laughed over the name of one, “Sincere Salute,” wondering about the story behind her naming. Perhaps some authoritarian shipping magnate was irritated by a recent wave of insincere salutes and resorted to guilt manipulation. Can’t imagine that having the desired result.
I thought at the time I could probably look her up in some online shipping register. I tried that this morning and sure enough, quickly found several mentions of the ship. I’d forgotten that ship spotting is a common hobby. At Digital Seas I learned she’s a bulker. At Wikipedia I learned that a bulker carries loose, bulk cargo. At e-ships I learned she’s registered in Panama and was born in 2004 (which was a big year for authoritarians.) I found a picture of her at Ship Spotting and learned from Pacific Gateway that she’s currently in Vancouver loading, or offloading coal.
But I haven’t found anything about her name. If there’s a ship spotter out there who knows the story, I’d be interested. I’m a word person and titles mean a lot to me.
Sunday evening we stretched the vacation out a few extra minutes with a picnic dinner on the beach at Lime Kiln Lighthouse, watching a couple of Dahl’s porpoise cavort. Then we raced back to Friday Harbor just in time to board the 6:30 to Anacortes.
The chilly wind soon drove us inside where we watchedthe passing show without freezing. A little while after we sought the refuge of the warm cabin a young couple came in and joined a group seated near us and I heard the guy say “You can only watch the water for so long.”
Oh really, I thought, my eyes on a sailboat headed into a bay for the night, is that right? And how long is so long? I haven’t found my limit yet.