Ferry reservations are released gradually; 30% two months before, 30% two weeks before, 30% two days before and 10% for emergency and stand-by vehicles. We knew when we wanted to return to the island and there were no issues getting the exact reservation times we wanted, going online at exactly 7:00am when the last 30% of reservations were released.
The Washington Ferry system is really incredible. They seem to have it down to a science. Even being twenty minutes behind schedule is consistent.
Lime Kiln Point State Park is on the other side of the island, west of Friday Harbor. It is a 41-acre park with a historic 1919 lighthouse, tidepools, and picnic tables. It is also considered one of the best whale watching places on earth. Unfortunately, we did not have such luck. There are not enough salmon in the water where they typically congregate so the orcas have no interest in hanging out by the lighthouse. The orcas seen last weekend were just passing through, probably cruising so fast they didn’t even notice all of the whale-watching-this-way signs posted.
There are two camps on San Juan Island, American Camp and English Camp (evidence of the San Juan archipelago boundary saga). Both Great Britain and the United States were given space on opposite ends of San Juan Island until the boundary dispute could be resolved. The two camps make up the San Juan Island National Historical Park, 2,146 acres of equally divided space. Being that our time was limited, we chose the winning team. There are not many buildings that remain from the 1859-1874 occupation, just officer and laundress quarters. But the old camp offers great views of the Olympic Peninsula to the south and Mt. Baker to the east.
The ferry back to Anacortes was our favorite ferry ride to date. The Subaru had an unobstructed ocean view. Instead of going upstairs, we remained in the car, looking for whales.