The Gateway to the San Juan Islands
Numerous times I traveled to Friday Harbor, an eclectic town located in the middle of San Juan Island, WA, via the hour-long ferry ride from the mainland. But I had never experienced arriving by way of the San Juan Channel.
Our trip began with us hitting some very dense fog as we crossed the Strait of Juan de Fuca that morning. But as we entered the San Juan Channel and progressed north, the skies cleared a little. We began to see a shoreline of these rolling fjords making up this archipelago of islands. Treelines became visible and we became aware of the shoal of porpoise following us, just off our port side.
Exquisitely beautiful scenery surrounded us allowing me for a few moments to imagine myself in the Hebrides or cruising the waterways of Norway, another land with a very similar look.
My partner, Richard, and I embarked on this sailing road-trip over a week prior, exploring the northern waters of the Salish Sea. Now, with the incoming tide, we cruised up the channel heading to our next port of call, Friday Harbor, known as the “Gateway to the San Juan Islands”.
Traveled to Friday Harbor
This charming, seaport town offers a wide variety of culture, activities, shopping, and food. The best part, everything is within walking distance of either the ferry landing or the marina allowing visitors to experience the slower pace of “island time”.
Coming into port, a resident seal escorted us to slip #22, which would be our home for the next few days. Friday Harbor is known for its marine life from seals to the resident J, K, and L orca whale pods who call the waters around San Juan Island home. In fact, the University of WA keeps a field station here specializing in the study of marine biology. If spotting a whale excites you, there are whale watching tours available, leaving the marina daily.
After securing the boat to the dock, we find ourselves famished and ready for dinner!
Find out where we eat and what we do while visiting Friday Harbor here.