Kayaking with Mom: Orcas Island


Orcas Island, May 9, 2009

Originally uploaded by ochawan

Originally we were thinking of going to Harrison Hotsprings for the weekend. Thought it was a bit expensive for four (Tim, Mom, Hitomi and I) so instead I made reservations for Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island.

Not sure I'd call it a Resort for the price. We did have our own cabin, but it was really just a cheaply built trailer home. We arrived late and although the reservation was for four, we had only two pillows and the office was closed. Whatever. Parents took the living room futon since the bedroom's bed was a springy mess.

We were here to kayak, not sleep, obviously: I brought Hitomi's folding boat, my Pygmy double, and Tim had his old, trusty roto-molded single with the slightly deformed bottom.

Tim's boat does have a wide kayak, but still he's a little on big side for it, plus the spray skirt. He had a really rough time in some current we found at Lawrence Point (see the map below). Hitomi and I (with my mom) got out of there pretty quickly. Even though there was slack predicted at 14:23 and we were around there fairly close to this time, it seems with a bit of flood at this little point there's quite a lot of current. Maybe at any time. I made a feeble rescue attempt with a short tow line but really towing wasn't a good idea. Stay away kiddies, unless you're continuing on from this point! (Getting really close to shore kind of worked but there were plenty of eddy currents turning poor time. Getting a half mile off shore might have been okay as well, since there might have been less eddies but the current might have been faster.)

Dinner was Italian but did not have the kind of fresh pasta that Hitomi's been yearning for. But it was a fine dinner, I thought. As with any resort area, the restaurants aren't quite the level you're paying at. If you pay a lot, you end up with some confusing combination of flavors that sound good on the menu.

So the big draw of the resort were supposedly the hot tubs but unfortunately there was only one operating out of three and it didn't have much hot in it. The sauna was fine. Hitomi and Mom retreated early, and the shower in the room wasn't too hot, for long anyway.

Next day we planned an early kayak in the morning but Sunday morning was almost entirely spent in bed. We tried the Doe Bay Cafe, which followed the pattern I described above. (My advice is order something ordinary.) Then we were off to Olga, which you can see on the map above, if you zoom in. We paddled about 6 nautical miles in 2 hours, which was pretty good since we were against the current at times.

Wasn't much to do in town, since it was Sunday and Mother's Day and the off season. We took an earlier ferry and went to Skagit River Brewery. There were about 8 kayaks and canoes in the parking lot and plenty of canoes and bicycles on cars parked on the street. It's the kind of place people wait to eat at when coming back from Anacortes or Deception Pass or hikes in the Cascades.

Orcas was fun, but a decidedly better place to eat would be Vancouver B.C. Maybe next year?

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About eliasross

Blogging before the word "blog" was invented.
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