A visit to Roche Harbor Marina will make you wonder if we are truly in a recession. The boats there made our 35’ sailboat look like a bathtub--hulking power yachts nearly as far as the eye could see. In addition to good people watching, Roche Harbor also has some interesting history. It’s an lime mining and processing company town, which has been converted into resort. We wandered around, checking out the old buildings, the mausoleum, and a surprisingly large sculpture garden (our visit here was cut short by a snake in the grass). After, we had a fabulous dinner overlooking the marina at one of the best restaurants in the Pacific NW (according to whom, I’m not sure). At sunset, the place takes on the feel of a 50s resort. A crew of 4 young staffers performs a colors ceremony, marching in formation and taking down the flags, complete with the national anthems of the US, Canada (just a stone’s throw away) and Britain and a cannon shot. Afterward, a gentleman with a microphone welcomes various newcomers to Roche Harbor and announces birthdays and anniversaries. Jen was quite surprised when the announcer said, “and welcome to Roche Harbor for first time visitor Jennifer Arterburn on the sailboat Iguazu!”
We spent a relaxing morning reading and eating a mediocre breakfast on the island and then began a leisurely trip home in another glorious sunny day. We stopped a long the way in a small cove for lunch and tried out anchoring for the first time. Like most first time experiences, it did not go perfectly smoothly. But, after one aborted attempt, a jam in the windlass and plenty of cursing--we dropped anchor successfully, grilled corn and ate a hearty lunch. We finally pulled back into the marina around 8 in the evening, to nearly 20 knot winds. Although, Jen is learning to drive the boat, she felt the situation was beyond her abilities, so, Jake took the wheel. After a couple of attempts, nearly resulting in collisions with dock and other boats, we made it in without incident!