San Juan Islands, May 2005
The San Juan Islands are Northwest of Seattle, just before hitting Vancouver Island. They are a popular Summer vacation destination from Seattle. We spent a weekend at Friday Harbor, the largest town in the Islands, though that's not saying much! We took the ferry from Anacortes, driving up by way of picking Benjamin up from camp in Indianola, island-hopping via a total of three ferries and at least three bridges.
We had medium luck with the weather: not very sunny, but better than forecast. In general the Islands have dryer weather than Seattle, being in the rain shadow of the mountains to the West (Olympics and Vancouver Island). We went kayaking and saw seals in the water, but unfortunately did not make it our whale-watching to see the Orcas.
We elected to walk on the final ferry from Anacortes, and not take the car. This was probably a mistake, since it meant it was harder to get around on the Island. (In the height of the summer, though, taking a car would mean a long wait.) We did a little biking, and took a taxi tour the last morning. The coast is very scenic, and the interior of San Juan Island is quite rural and also very pleasant. There are places from which one can sometimes see whales offshore from the land, but we were not so lucky.