Friday Harbor Marine Biology

Friday Harbor Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
Will crashed

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.

Chiton
I think we made every possible stop between Spokane and Seattle. We stopped off in Ellensburg so everybody could get food, more coffee and use the bathroom. The van I was riding in was talking about a variety of off the wall things all the way across the state, especially after thinking we were all going to sleep.

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.

Hooded nudibranch
.. Some of the group wandered off to the shoreline that nobody knew about and decided NOT to tell us about. Found a worm that expells all of it's eggs and sperm when it's touched, so, in essence, my instructor killed the worm while it was trying to mate with her stick. Found a few nudibranches as well.

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.

Sea jelly
Everything else was vegetarian. The funny thing about that...the two girls that had requested special meals both did NOT show up. *sigh*

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.

Front Street Ale House
Crystal was rowing ours and had a slow start (plus the pins kept coming out of the holes in the boat) so it made for some slow going. Looking over and seeing the Will's rowboat at a 45-degree angle got me laughing, on top of all the various comments everybody else was making. I think I was laughing so hard I gave myself a headache. (one of those headaches that you get after you'd probably get after being smacked with a lead pipe or something)

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.

The Hungry Clam
About 5 minutes later the Will's finally made it. Made up some pretty good time, considering they were well on their way to heading out to sea.

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.

Friday Harbor main street
We decided to row because we weren't wanting to row back across the harbor or walk all the way back to get the boat back. By the time we left (about 2300) the wind was kicking up to about 6 mph or so and it was drizzling rain. Keenan had his turn at trying to row, but Crystal ended up taking that over anyways. Keenan obviously had spent NO time EVER in a boat that wasn't a speed boat where shifting weight doesn't matter. He kept shifting around back and forth and I kept jumping on him for it. (In my previous experiences, once a boat passes roughly the 45-degree point, the boat compliments the angle for you by tipping over the rest of the way. We made it to the dock in about 15 minutes (versus the hour it took getting to town). The others had gone to a bar up the street from Front Street Ale House.
Sole
One of the Wills stayed on the island with some girl he'd met at the bar and the others caught a cab back to the UW campus. The remaining Will apparently rowed his way back early in the morning, 20 minutes before breakfast. haha

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.

Slime star
Found some VERY intriguing specimens...hooded nudibranch, sea jelly, different nudibranchs, etc.... We missed our ferry out to get to Anacortes, so Will (the one that stayed in town for both nights) had lunch at The Hungry Clam and were going to rent some mopeds, but it would've taken about half an hour to do the paperwork and training, so that didn't work since we had to be back by then. I did end up getting some dive books from the bookstore though before we left. :)

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Will crashed
Will crashed
Chiton
Chiton
Hooded nudibranch
Hooded nudibranch
Sea jelly
Sea jelly
Front Street Ale House
Front Street Ale House
The Hungry Clam
The Hungry Clam
Friday Harbor main street
Friday Harbor main street
Sole
Sole
Slime star
Slime star
Cabezon
Cabezon
Crab in barnacle
Crab in barnacle
Underside of sun sea star
Underside of sun sea star
Dorm room
Dorm room
Nudibranch
Nudibranch
Sponsored Links
Friday Harbor
photo by: divermedic911