Friday Harbor Marine Biology
Friday Harbor Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
This will cover the entire weekend, as there was really no distinct change in one day to the next.
The trip started out early around 0730. It was windy and cold, but I was dressed up for the cold weather, unlike some of the people I looked over in the group that had showed up. Being from the west side of the state and knowing that being on a boat can get pretty cold, even in warmer weather, I made sure I'd be good to go, knowing we were going to be on a boat for at least 6 hours.
Our driver was SLOW...makes my instructor look more like a speed demon. She's an awesome instructor though! (had her for biology, anatomy/physiology, and now marine biology) I swear we were going to die, he kept jerking the van back and forth, fish-tailing the back end of the van numerous times, getting stuck in the rumble strips and dangerously cautious about changing lanes on the freeway.
We missed our first ferry from Anacortes. So we ended up hanging out in the coffee shack place at the ferry docks and ended up in front of the restrooms after that. Don't know how we ended up migrating there.
The ferry ride lasted an uneventful hour. No one had been to Friday Harbor before, so we were all pleasantly surprised to find out there was an actual established community there. We were left with the impression that it was basically uninhabited except for the laboratory we were staying at.
Most of the meals we had over the entire course of our stay was mainly vegetarian. I think we had the option of bacon at breakfast and a turkey sandwich at lunch.
After dinner, we were given a quick orientation to the place and checked out on the rowboats. We were given 24-hour access to them, and the first night (Friday night) my van group made use of that idea. We checked into our dorms and immediately headed out. We checked out the two boats we wanted between the number of people we had. It ended up being completely dark by the time we started out. We were waiting for one of the other guys to go, but he was waiting for one of the other girls (women) that decided to take a shower. Will and Will (two Wills, so yes, that was on purpose) were in one of the rowboats and Crystal, Keenan and I were in the other. The Wills pushed off the dock about a minute ahead of us and ended up slowly drifting out towards the outer bay.
We kept flashing each other with flashlights since it was completely dark. The wind was starting to slightly pick up across the cove and it was getting QUITE chilly in a thin sweatshirt. Directing Crystal on where to steer, in between the times she turned it around to row like you're supposed to, we finally made it to a dock attached to the actual island.
Making our way across the entire marina (don't think we docked exactly where we were supposed to) we tried finding a place to hang out, discovering that the entire island must pretty much closes up shop by 6 or 7. We found the Front Street Ale House just down from the marina and about the only place open that Keenan (18) could be in. The pizza was far from Pizza Hut, but would've been better if I didn't get the headache that got worse and makes you feel sick to eat. Everybody had some beers and I just stuck with water to try and alleviate the headache symptom by morning before it felt worse by the time the six-hour boat ride came up.
Crystal and I debated whether or not we wanted to walk back or row back.
The boat ride on Saturday was quite slow for me. There was really nothing to do in between leaving the docks, the plankton skimming and the two dredges we executed. The first dredge was down to 6 fathoms (about 360 feet) and brought up quite an array of sea bottom-dwelling critters. The second was off of a rocky substrate. A lot of similarities, but still some difference, as should be expected. No octopus though, so I was quite disappointed, especially with the amount of clam shells in each dredge.
Our group had the whole night to themselves. We all woke up the next morning to get some exploring while the tide was out.