These pages focus on the late summer trip to the NW and the poems and pictures generated there.
Comments: The San Juan Islands are located just north of Seattle and reach into the Canadian waters just south of Vancouver Island. Many think of this part of the world as wet and cloudy. In reality, the Islands receive about half the rainfall as Seattle and see the sun an average of 247 days a year. But this year, the San Juans were extremely dry having had no significant rain since April. Obviously, the land was parched as described in the poem. But the beauty was still evident everywhere you looked.

To see additional pictures of the San Juans, Vancouver, and Victoria, click here.

To see my recommendations, click here.

One of the smaller open chase boats. We were in an enclosed one that carried 15 people, a captain, and two naturalists.
The sights we had come to see.


Not far off shore
fifteen boats jockey for position.
All are filled with eager tourist eyes
searching to catch first glimpse.
“There's one!” our naturalist shouts.
Like a huge wave, all rush to starboard.
The orcas came first as one and then twos –
eventually nine in all.
They slice through the water,
momentarily surfacing.
The black fins so stark against the white underside.
Our oohs and aahs,
the click of shutters,
and the purr of camcorders
do not detour them.
They continue to feed,
disappearing as quickly as they arrived.
We return to port in awe.

Comments: While in Victoria on Vancouver Island, we decided to take a whale watching cruise. From Victoria we travelled at about 40 knots for an hour to another section of the San Juans. We were not alone as indicated in the poem. I laughed as each boat jockeyed into position for the arrival of the orca pod. We were not disappointed. Within 15 minutes the sightings began. Our captain cautiously motoring to new positions to keep the Killer Whales in view. For 35+ minutes we were enthralled with this great nature show.
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