The Voyage of S/V Estelle

Cruising the British Columbia Coast

19 November 2017 | Vancouver, BC
04 August 2017 | Van Isle Marina
25 July 2017 | San Juan Islands, Wa USA
22 July 2017 | BC Gulf Islands
21 July 2017 | BC Gulf Islands
28 April 2017 | Steveston, BC
14 February 2017 | Whistler, BC
13 November 2016 | Pender Harbour
31 October 2016 | Vancouver Rowing Club
10 October 2016
17 August 2016 | John Williams Boatyard, Hall Quarry, Mt Desert Is.
11 August 2016 | Wooden Boat School anchorage, Eggemoggin Reach
09 August 2016 | McGlatherties Island
08 August 2016 | Castine, Maine
07 August 2016 | Bucks Harbor
06 August 2016 | Castine, Me
05 August 2016 | Cradle Cove
28 July 2016 | Boothbay Harbor
22 September 2015 | Somes Sound, Mt Desert Island, Maine
15 September 2015

San Juan Islands 2017 Part 1

25 July 2017 | San Juan Islands, Wa USA
Beautiful spring weather

Grand Piano and Pipe Organ at Rosario Resort


May 30
Roche Harbor

Our trip today from Royal Cove to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island was just 11 nm, so we had time for a good hike ashore.
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Are you sure I'll like this?

In a "soft" morning we donned wet gear and hiked the perimeter of the island down to Princess Cove and back. A good hike!
Dropping our stern line was a bit easier that rigging it, and we were off for the US! A short trip and we were tying to the US Customs dock in Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. We were quickly cleared in and moved along the dock to tie up for a few hours to tour ashore.
Roche Harbor is not really a town, but a resort centered on the Hotel De Haro.

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The hotel dates back to the early 20th century, and with only a few concessions to modern comfort is today as it was built. We looked through the Presidential Suite and thought it comfortable in summer, but might be a bit drafty in winter.
We found a well equipped grocery store where we replenished our supply of fresh fruit and veggies and wine. After a quick tour, we were back aboard and moved off the dock to anchor in the harbour, sharing the large anchorage with just a half dozen other boats.

May 31
Garrison Bay

In the morning we again went ashore in Roche Harbor where we found an excellent breakfast at a restaurant on the wharf. After breakfast, we took another walk, including a tour of a very curious statue garden.
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Back aboard, we weighed anchor and an ran down Mosquito Pass and into Garrison Bay. Garrison Bay was home to the British Garrison during The Pig War. If you are not interested in this curious piece of history, skip down to June 1st.
The Oregon Treaty of June 15, 1846, resolved the Oregon boundary dispute by dividing the Oregon Country/Columbia District between the United States and Britain "along the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude to the middle of the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver Island, and thence southerly through the middle of the said channel, and of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to the Pacific Ocean". However, there are actually two straits that could be called the middle of the channel: Haro Strait, along the west side of the San Juan Islands; and Rosario Strait, along the east side.
Because of this ambiguity, both the United States and Britain claimed sovereignty over the San Juan Islands.
During this period of disputed sovereignty, Britain's Hudson's Bay Company established operations on San Juan and turned the island into a sheep ranch. Meanwhile, American settlers had begun to arrive.
On June 15, 1859, exactly thirteen years after the adoption of the Oregon Treaty, the ambiguity led to direct conflict. Lyman Cutlar, an American farmer, found a large black pig rooting in his garden eating his potatoes. This was not the first occurrence. Cutlar was so upset that he took aim and shot the pig, killing it. It turned out that the pig was owned by an Irishman, Charles Griffin, who was employed by the Hudson's Bay Company to run the sheep ranch. When British authorities threatened to arrest Cutlar, American settlers called for military protection.
With that, things began to escalate. The US dispatched 66 American soldiers to San Juan Island with orders to prevent the British from landing
Meanwhile, the governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island ordered British Rear Admiral Robert L. Baynes to land marines on San Juan Island and engage the American soldiers. Baynes landed his troops, but refused to engage the Americans, deciding that "two great nations in a war over a squabble about a pig" was foolish. Local commanding officers on both sides had been given essentially the same orders: defend yourselves, but absolutely do not fire the first shot. For several days, the British and U.S. soldiers exchanged insults, each side attempting to goad the other into firing the first shot, but discipline held on both sides, and thus no shots were fired.
When news about the crisis reached Washington and London, officials from both nations were shocked and took action to calm the potentially explosive international incident.
As a result of negotiations, both sides agreed to retain joint military occupation of the island until a final settlement could be reached, reducing their presence to a token force of no more than 100 men. The "English Camp" was established on the north end of San Juan Island. The American Camp was established on the southern end of the island.
During the years of joint military occupation, the small British and American units on San Juan Island had an amicable mutual social life, visiting one another's camps to celebrate their respective national holidays and holding various athletic competitions. Park rangers told us the biggest threat to peace on the island during these years was "the large amounts of alcohol available".
In 1871, both sides agreed to resolve the San Juan dispute by international arbitration, with Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany chosen to act as arbitrator. Wilhelm referred the issue to a three-man arbitration commission which met in Geneva for nearly a year. On October 21, 1872, the commission decided in favor of the United States. The arbitrator chose the American-preferred marine boundary via Haro Strait, to the west of the islands, over the British preference for Rosario Strait which lay to their east.
On November 25, 1872, the British withdrew their Royal Marines from the British Camp. The Americans followed by July 1874. The Pig War was over after 13 years. The only casualty was the pig.
After anchoring in Garrison Bay and a quick lunch, we dinghied ashore for a fascinating afternoon touring the site. While the entire camp has not survived, there are still a number of buildings and structures standing, including a formal garden demanded by the commanding officer's wife.
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Photographs on display certainly suggest that the British troops enjoyed a very comfortable posting.
We also climbed up the hill behind the camp to the graveyard containing the graves of the four British soldiers who died during the occupation, neatly tended. All died by either accident or of natural causes.

June 1
Friday Harbor/Blind Bay

We woke after another quiet night in Garrison Bay. We are clearly ahead of the season as there were only two other cruising boats here with us. The cruising guides suggest that these anchorages become extremely crowded in the height of the cruising season. But today, finding room to anchor was not a problem.
Weighing anchor, we worked our way back into Roche Harbour then rounded the northern tip of San Juan, and down San Juan Channel to Friday Harbor, San Juan's largest community.
One nice feature that the yacht clubs in the north-west is "reciprocal privileges". It provides, among other features, complimentary dockage in a designated area. Its on a "first come, first served" basis. So we checked out the Friday Harbor Yacht Club visitor's dock, only to find it fully occupied. So we anchored in the harbor and took the dinghy ashore.
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First business, lunch at a very nice cafe on the water where we watched the coming and going in the harbor. Then a nice tour around town, including a stop at the ATM for some US cash. Then, as usual, groceries, or as many as we could carry.
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Although only mid-afternoon, we headed back to the boat.
Friday Harbor is deep, with no anchorage less than 60', so we had over 200' of chain out. But that was still barely adequate if any wind came up. So we decided to seek out a better anchorage for the night. We will return to Friday Harbor as our quick trip only allowed us to see a small part of it.
Leaving Friday Harbor, we crossed San Juan Channel and sailed up Upright Channel, passing one of the many ferries plying the waters of the San Juan's in the narrows. Sailing into Blind Bay on Shaw Island where we found an excellent anchorage with, again, only three other cruisers like ourselves.

June 2
East Sound/Blind Bay

Today we decided to explore East Sound on Orca Island. And with few protected anchorages, we planned it a day trip, returning to Blind Bay for the night.
Sailing up the sound in light airs, we reached the village of Eastsound just at noon... just in time for lunch! Again anchoring was not possible as it was prohibited in the only water under 100' So we picked up a vacant mooring and headed ashore. Another pretty village that, at the beginning of tourist season was quickly becoming busy. After an excellent lunch, a few more groceries, a bottle of local wine (Washington State has some great wines!), and we were off back down the Sound.
The only other anchorage on its 8 mile length was Rosario Resort and Marina.
Rosario Resort features the main "House", hotel rooms, a marina, spa and a few moorings (again, too deep to anchor).
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Rosario Resort
We picked up a mooring and went ashore for a tour of this fascinating property.
The main body of the resort, complete with pipe organ, was built in 1913 by Seattle shipbuilder Robert Moran. Originally from New York City, Moran arrived on the Seattle waterfront in 1875 with a dime in his pocket. Eventually joined in Seattle by his brothers, Moran formed The Moran Bros. Company, a small family ship repair business that grew into a supplier for the Yukon Gold Rush, then a major West Coast shipyard. The Moran Bros. Company quickly became Seattle's largest employer when it won a naval contract to build the battleship U.S.S. Nebraska in 1902.
By 1904, the stress of business had taken a toll on Moran's health and he was given only a few years to live. He purchased 7,000 acres on Orcas Island. He began to build his retirement home with the same integrity as one of his ocean going vessels: massive and solid, yet elegant and gracious. Free from the pressures of his business, Moran recovered and lived until 1943!
In 1938, Moran sold Rosario to Donald Rheem for $50,000. Rheem was the founder of Rheem Manufacturing in the San Francisco Bay area, known today for their water heaters and heat pumps. Rosario was Rheem's vacation home for 20 years, but his wife Alice ended up making it her permanent residence .
Texan Ralph Curtain purchased Rosario from Rheem in 1958, but his dream of turning the estate into a resort quickly ended when his oil wells dried up. He sold Rosario in 1960 for $225,000 (half the original purchase price) to Gil Geiser of Seattle. Geiser sold a bowling alley and hardware store to open Rosario Resort on April 1, 1960.
Today, the Aeolian pipe organ (1,972 pipes), and 1900 Steinway grand piano are still used for concerts throughout the season.
In late afternoon, we dropped the mooring and motored back to Blind Bay where we re-anchored for another quiet night.
Comments
Vessel Name: Estelle
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 41.1
Hailing Port: Charlottetown, PEI
Crew: Jeannie & Jim Lea
About: Flag Counter
Extra: After cruising the east coast of North America for 10 years, from Nova Scotia to Panama, it's time for a change. Estelle will be cruising the coast of British Columbia and Alaska beginning in 2017.
Estelle's Photos - The Voyage of S/V Estelle (Main)
15 Photos
Created 19 November 2017
Our cruise of the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands in May & June, 2017
84 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
Our first BC cruise, from Pender Harbour to Strait Marine in Steveston BC
26 Photos
Created 27 April 2017
Estelle's arrival in Vancouver
8 Photos
Created 31 October 2016
63 Photos
Created 28 July 2016
Our first year cruising... Exumas, Bahamas.
11 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
69 Photos
Created 24 July 2015
17 Photos
Created 31 May 2015
8 Photos
Created 12 April 2015
25 Photos
Created 4 December 2014
3 Photos
Created 30 November 2014
20 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
5 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
13 Photos
Created 13 November 2014
20 Photos
Created 9 November 2014
Pics of our trip from Mount Desert Islans to the Saint John River in July 2014.
64 Photos
Created 14 August 2014
15 Photos
Created 9 May 2014
60 Photos
Created 20 September 2013
18 Photos
Created 3 April 2013
50 Photos
Created 14 January 2013
104 Photos
Created 12 December 2012
40 Photos
Created 1 December 2012
23 Photos
Created 10 November 2012
19 Photos
Created 25 October 2012
14 Photos
Created 13 March 2012
47 Photos
Created 6 March 2012
59 Photos
Created 1 March 2012
70 Photos
Created 27 February 2012
107 Photos
Created 21 January 2012
Nov/Dec 2011
48 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
San Blas Islands
4 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
58 Photos
Created 17 November 2011
23 Photos
Created 29 October 2011
22 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
49 Photos
Created 10 May 2011
52 Photos
Created 29 March 2011
18 Photos
Created 18 March 2011
18 Photos
Created 18 March 2011
Feb, 2011
67 Photos
Created 11 February 2011
33 Photos
Created 7 February 2011
34 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
33 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
62 Photos
Created 17 November 2010
39 Photos
Created 15 November 2010
41 Photos
Created 31 October 2010
25 Photos
Created 4 October 2010
17 Photos
Created 4 October 2010
15 Photos
Created 3 October 2010
13 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
9 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
14 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
Some photos at John Williams Boatyard as we prepare for departure.
7 Photos
Created 14 September 2010
Our trip to various BC ski resorts Jan-Feb 2010
69 Photos
Created 7 February 2010
August/Sept in Maine
58 Photos
Created 29 August 2009
Our trip from Norfolk Va to Mount Desert Island, June 20th to July 7th, 2009. Gerard Watts aboard as crew!
89 Photos
Created 8 July 2009
11 Photos
Created 26 April 2009
65 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 22 March 2009
65 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 11 February 2009
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2009
42 Photos
Created 29 January 2009
5 Photos
Created 23 December 2008
27 Photos
Created 22 December 2008
Our trip from Maine to Miami
108 Photos
Created 19 December 2008
Pics from Jan to June 2008, Bahamas to Maine
50 Photos
Created 18 June 2008
Trip south from Maine to Bahamas, Sept-Dec 2007
42 Photos
Created 26 December 2007
14 Photos
Created 25 December 2007
4 Photos
Created 21 August 2007
These are pictures of The Hermitage on Cat Island, Bahamas. It was built single-handedly by Faather Jerome who was sent out by the Church of England to rebuild churches destroyed in the hurricanes in the early 20th century. He then converted to catholicism and built a number of Roman Catholic churches until he sought and received permission to build this hermitage where he spent the remainder of his life.
10 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 24 June 2007
1 Photo
Created 24 June 2007
21 Photos
Created 23 June 2007
3 Photos
Created 12 June 2007
These pictures were taken while on Long Island, Bahamas, in February, 2007
6 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
This album contains some photos of our time in the Jumentos Islands, in the Bahamas
11 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
3 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
9 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
4 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
19 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
18 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
13 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 11 March 2007
9 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
5 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
18 Photos
Created 11 March 2007