Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Friday Harbor

Well, here we are on our last evening as Cruisers. The sun is shining. We are at one of our favorite spots of the past summer, Blind Bay, on Shaw Island in the San Juan archipelago.  We are finally modelling the Pacific University sweatshirts given to me by co-workers when I left my position to enter this lifestyle. It is Halloween evening, but we don't expect any trick-or-treaters, unless you count the seagulls, who are always looking for a handout..

WHAT?! You are going to give up cruising already? I'll share with you a couple of definitions in the boating world. A Liveaboard is someone who makes their primary residence on a boat. A Cruiser is someone who uses their boat to get from place to place. Not all liveaboards are cruisers, and not all cruisers are liveaboards. For the past four months we have been both.

However, for our first winter 'up north', we are seeking the comfort of a slip.  For a couple of months or so.

Al has shared some apprehension of this plan. His innate frugality is cringing at the MONEY it is going to cost. Not simply from moorage fees. We have said previously and heard from other blogging cruisers, if you don't want to spend money, STAY OUT OF TOWN! And what are we doing? Going to town.

Coffee shops! Grocery stores! Hardware and marine stores! Restaurants! Bookstores! The place is just filled with opportunities to drop a few bills from our wallets.

And we are off to a good start.

I forget what these creatures are called, but they are attached all along the dock / breakwater. These are just behind where we have secured Viking Star. They are big and flowery / feathery, and gorgeous.

After we are settled, we head to the port office to sign our contract and pay the first and last month's moorage. Al lets out a small sigh of relief--it is lower than he had recalled! We return to the boat for lunch and a work call for Al, then we go exploring.

King's Market is just a couple of blocks up the hill from the ferry landing. We have shopped for groceries here before, and I would describe it as, perhaps, gourmet.  We knew there was another grocery further away, and today we find it to check it out.  This one is more 'everyday'. Prices are more reasonable, and we pack our own bags.

We locate the medical office where we have appointments with doctors in the next couple of weeks.  We are keeping our eyes open for dentist offices, and eye doctors. We need all-around health maintenance.  

And we find the church we would like to attend.  St. David's Episcopal is past the school, maybe a mile or more walk from our slip. It looks like a 'house' of the Lord.....I'll have to post a picture later so you can see what I mean. We also walked past St. Francis Catholic. It is TEENY, especially for a Catholic church. It seems smaller even than  Amo Methodist, the small country church I attended in my childhood on the SW Minnesota prairie.

This morning began with a very pretty sunrise to welcome us to our new home. Al has another work phone call, we fill our water tank, and we are off again into the community.

Today, we begin the coffeehouse sampling. Carma at the port office said she likes 'The Bean' the best, because it is quiet. There is free wi-fi, a spacious seating area with large windows, and a monitor viewing the ferry lanes. The coffee was fine. I would return, but there are a couple other shops I want to sample first....

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