Friday Harbour, Wa Rt, 7nights/8 Days
Day 1 Arrive Friday Harbor, Washington, boarding
Upon arrival in Friday Harbor you’ll be met and transferred to your yacht where your Captain and crew will greet you with hors d’oeuvres and champagne. As soon as everyone is aboard, we’ll get underway, cruising through the northern islands of the San Juan archipelago, home to orca whales, seals, sea lions, and a wealth of bird life. After a sumptuous dinner our Expedition Leader will provide an orientation to the journey. We will anchor tonight at Reid Harbor on Stuart Island. Welcome aboard!
Day 2, Victoria, British Columbia & Butchart Gardens
After breakfast, take some time to explore Victoria on your own, visit the Royal British Columbia Museum, and then enjoy a high tea luncheon at the historic and elegant Empress Hotel. From there we'll tour the Butchart Gardens before reboarding the yacht. Tonight we'll anchor in a serene bay in the Canadian Gulf Islands.
Day 3, Petroglyphs & the Harmony Islands
Not far from our anchorage we’ll find some of the best petroglyphs in British Columbia. Degnen Bay is widely known for impressive carvings of animals and abstract designs. The stories behind these petroglyphs have largely been lost, but much work has been done by the Cowichan Nation to trace cultural links to their own history on the island.
After viewing the petroglyphs and enjoying some time ashore, we’ll cruise through Dodd Narrows or Gabriola passage. Our cruising day ends at the Harmony Islands in Hotham Sound. Those who have a zest for adventure may join the crew for a truly natural shower at Friel Lake Falls, a cascade that plummets 1,400 feet before relinquishing its water in a voluminous, sea level spray. A unique experience? By all means! That’s what we came for!
Day 4, Coastal Fjords & Princess Louisa Inlet
“Further up and further in!” (A quote taken from C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series), is the most appropriate description of our course through Jervis Inlet and Queen’s Reach today. We will trace the path of a now vanished glacier, one that reached heights over 5,000 feet thick during the last glacial epoch. These fjords snake through vertical granite mountains, offering stunning vistas at every bend. We’ll spend a full day winding into the core of the Coast Range, stopping to feel the mist of waterfalls bounding down sheer rock faces. Our destination is Princess Louisa Inlet, considered one of the ten most beautiful locations on earth by Conde Naste magazine (and us). Princess Louisa Inlet, only half a mile wide but walled in by 5,000-foot mountains and stunning in its own right, culminates at the tremendous Chatterbox Falls. We’ll anchor in the inlet and explore on foot and by kayak today.
Day 5, Exploring Princess Louisa Inlet
Rising early today will provide us with a chance to see and feel the serene beauty of Princess Louisa Inlet. Whether you choose to hike ashore, paddle a kayak out on the still waters or enjoy the scenery with a cup of coffee on the fly bridge, we’ll be surrounded by the abounding wilderness and a calming sense of solitude.
Later this afternoon we will visit Malibu Club, which is located at the entrance to Princess Louisa Inlet. Malibu Club, a large resort-turned-camp, was built in the 1950’s as a Hollywood getaway for movie stars and the very wealthy. When it proved too much of a financial burden on the builder, the property was put up for sale and so passed into the hands of Jim Rayburn, founder of the Christian outreach program Young Life. Young Life has operated Malibu Club as a summer camp for high school kids from the US and Canada ever since.
We’ll depart Princess Louisa Inlet this afternoon and make our way to tonight’s anchorage near a waterfall located in Green Bay.
Day 6, Sandy Beaches & Vancouver, British Columbia
Today takes us back into open seascapes and a myriad of quiet islands as we cruise toward Buccaneer Bay. This bay lies between two remarkably different islands, South and North Thormanby Islands. Though nearly connected by a small sand spit, the south island consists of volcanic bedrock and broken areas of growth, while the north island – utterly different – is made up of fine sand and other glacially deposited materials such as boulders. The forest thrives here. Geologically speaking, this is one of the most interesting sites on the coast, but more importantly these islands provide a lovely anchorage with broad, sandy beaches nearby. We’ll go beach combing and walking with our Expedition Leader, learning about these different environments as we go.
This afternoon we’ll weigh anchor and cruise south to the metropolis of Vancouver, B.C. We will stay dockside in the heart of the city tonight. We’ll be happy to make arrangements for the theater or a movie in Vancouver this evening for those who wish.
Day 7, Roche Harbor, Jones Island & Farewell dinner
We’ll return to the USA today, our course set for the San Juan Islands. Our morning will be spent cruising among the open waters and islands of the Pacific Northwest, and we’ll keep an eye out for orcas and other sea life as we go. After lunch we’ll arrive at the tiny port (better described as a nook) of Roche Harbor, clearing customs upon arrival. Once ashore, we’ll walk to several historic sites, including the grand Hotel de Haro, a beautiful resort hotel that was once a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post and later hosted presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Howard Taft. We’ll also visit the final resting place of early industrial tycoon John McMillin, founder of the largest lime-producing outfit west of the Mississippi in the early 1900’s. His kilns, railroad tracks and mausoleum are testaments to his strong presence here on the island and in Washington State. We’ll have some time to simply wander on our own around the hotel grounds and through the colorful, single store in this lovely hidden alcove.
Later this afternoon we’ll take a walk across Jones Island. Wild deer roam the island, and it’s reported that they frequent a homesteader’s long-abandoned fruit orchard at the southern end of the island. Tonight we’ll enjoy a festive farewell dinner while nestled in a picturesque cove.
Day 8, Friday Harbor & a fond farewell
Rise early today for morning kayaking along the shores of Jones Island before we get underway for Friday Harbor. We’ll arrive just after a hearty breakfast and bid you farewell as you leave to make your connections home.