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Friday Harbor Travel Blog

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Lime Kiln Lighthouse

Morning comes around and, hearing that the whales are heading down the west coast of SJI – which is my original destination – I take the ferry to Friday Harbor. I head to the Discovery Inn, my planned accommodations, but they aren’t open yet. So I head out to Lime Kiln State Park. Just as I crest a hill the waters of Haro Strait comes into view and I spot fins! Whales! I’m so excited. I pull over at a little roadside park called the Westside Preserve and sit on a rock. I watched the whales go by, about 6 or 8. It was just me and them – no whale watching boats, no other people. They were close enough to hear them breathe. My whale moment.

After they passed, I continued on my way. Someone told me that I had just missed the whales but happily I had caught them further south. Since there was no action at the park, I went back into Friday Harbor to make the reservations for two nights. The guy at the counter gave me a map and marked where I could find a camel, a red and/or black fox, a sculpture garden and various other oddities on the island. Some reviews on TripAdvisor said he was a bit odd but I liked the fact that he gave me funky info!

I stopped at the King’s Market grocery store and bought some sandwiches from the half price bin. I was tired of spending $60 or $70 a meal! I got some mushroom soup that was really good and ate it on a bench in town for a late breakfast.

Orcas
Then it was back in the car and back to Lime Kiln. So I took the same roads and as I got close to shore I could see the armada of whale watching boats so I knew the whales were still on the west coast but they were far out. My nice, quiet place from the morning had turned into a parking lot with at least 15 cars of people who were trying to get a glimpse of the whales. I didn’t stop since the whales were so far away and there were so many people. There was no action at he park so I headed down south to try for a spot to watch. I went down to Cattle Point past the American Camp and caught a few more glimpses. I spent the rest of the afternoon chasing them up and down the coast. When they were finally headed up towards the park again, I got myself a seat and waited for the show. The whales took their time coming up the strait and when they finally got to the lighthouse, they were very close to shore in a couple groups of 8 or so. No acrobatics or playing but lots of group surfacing.  It was better whale watching than the high priced boats. You just have less of a chance to see them. Looking at statistics, random watching at the lighthouse gives about one in five chance, on a whale watch boat, 9 out of ten times you are successful. I thought about staying longer but I still had to pick up my key at the hotel office and they closed at 8 pm. So I called it a day, had some Madeira wine (which I found for the first time since being in Madeira!) and went to bed.

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Lime Kiln Lighthouse
Lime Kiln Lighthouse
Orcas
Orcas
Friday Harbor
photo by: divermedic911