As turnabout's fair play, here's a photo I took of Carey following us home on Monday.* Probably taken about the same time he took one of the photos of us.* When I say "following us home" I don't mean to imply that his boat pokes along like ours does.* He just hadn't passed us yet.
The second photo was taken from the top of Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island on Sunday.* It's the highest point in the San Juan Islands.* The first view is to the east.* The volcano on the horizon is Mt. Baker, part of the chain that includes Baker, Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, Hood, and Shasta.* The body of water in the foreground is the upper end of Rosario Strait, which can be notoriously nasty on a windy day but wasn't on this day.* The body of water in the background is the infamous Bellingham Bay, which seems to be windy with very closely-spaced, very steep waves no matter what it's doing anywhere else.* The two towns visible on the far shore are Bellingham proper on the left and Fairhaven (today part of Bellingham) on the right.
The third photo is in effect as though the camera has swung to the right a bit more than 90 degrees.* This is the rest of Rosario Strait as it heads south to join up with the Strait of Juan de Fuca that runs on out to the Pacific.* The town on the left in the middle distance is part of Anacortes.* Barely visible in the haze on the horizon is Mt. Rainier.
The interesting thing in both these photos to someone who doesn't live here are the patterns in the water.* They are not wind gusts, they are the currents swirling around.* In this area the currents can get up to 5 or 6 knotsi in places, maybe a bit more on a really high tide range day.* Boating aroudn here is, in effect, like boating on a bunch of huge rivers, with all the same chutes, tongues, eddies, upwelling, and even whirlpools you get in a fast river magnified many, many times in scale.
To people like Carey and myself, it is one of the things that makes boating in the PNW so interesting---- and at times so challenging.* Because the farther north you go, the wilder the country gets, the greater the tidal range becomes, and the stronger the currents run.* To the point where in some channels the daily maximum current pulls the floating navaids almost completely underwater.
-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 28th of July 2010 01:14:39 AM